Due to the Cross, Jesus's focus in any relationship is acceptance first, and change (by and through the Holy Spirit) second. Unfortunately, we often approach it the other way around, feeling we need to change first in order to be accepted by Him.
"People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart" (1 Sam 16:7). We seem so concerned with 'what' we do, while Jesus is concerned with 'why' we do it, whatever it is.
Jesus is after more than behaviour modification, He is concerned with the truth and the root of what we do. This kind of surgery requires a close trusting relationship.
Perhaps this is why we can adopt a performance-based approach to Christianity. Kind of like an employee/employer relationship. That way we can maintain a distance, be in control, and protect our pain.
Performance-based Christianity must grieve our triune God, as this approach leads us away from relationship with Him, the very source of our freedom.
Realising and accepting that we are forgiven and accepted in Christ NOW, allows us to commune with Him, receive His love, and heal from the rejected heart that performs for acceptance.
It is in the Vine that we find strength, peace, and a true desire to change; not to 'become' accepted, but because He says we are 'already' accepted, showing that he did indeed first love us (1 Jn 4:19).
God is constantly reaching out to us, all we need to do is extend our finger and say ‘I AM, here I am’.