“Therefore, accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory.” – Romans 15:7
We long for acceptance in our relationships. Everyone wants to know that even with all of our faults, we are still appreciated, loved, and valued. Yet only God is able to love us unconditionally all of the time. We are loved—warts and all—and we were loved while we were still sinful. God loved us so much that He gave His only Son for us (John 3:16).
That’s how God sees us. God calls us to see others through His eyes. Accepting each other and loving each other in spite of our faults will benefit one another but, more importantly, it will reflect God in us. Yet sometimes we feel as if we are somehow above the fray.
From our high and lofty view, it’s easy to see all the ways other people are failing us or have wronged us. We can sit up on our perch and pick out the mistakes everyone else is making. We are able to do that because we have such a perfect understanding of how the world should run. “I would never make a mistake by doing that…”
The flaw in this logic is that we are all sinners with no innate holiness. Any success or achievements or character attributes we possess is because of Jesus’ work in us. Any growth we experience is God bringing it about in me. When I criticize someone else for committing a sin I believe myself to be free from, I’m forgetting the obvious truth that Jesus is the one who has given me every victory I have ever experienced over sin. Paul warns the Corinthians about lifting themselves up on their supposed merits as if they were responsible for generating them: “For what gives you the right to make such a judgment? What do you have that God hasn’t given you? And if everything you have is from God, why boast as though it were not a gift?” (I Corinthians 4:7)
Paul is telling us that when we think ourselves superior to others, we are not only forgetting what we have received, but we are boasting about our holiness as if we were personally responsible for it. That is an argument that we should never make.
God calls us to see others through His eyes. He calls us to accept others the way He does—as dearly loved, broken children of God who are created in His own image. Accepting each other and loving each other in spite of our faults is seeing others the way God does. That means I should not view them through the lens of their flaws.
- Who is the person or persons in your life that you are having a hard time accepting?
- What can you do this week to overlook their flaws and accept them as they are?