“Therefore, accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory.” — Romans 15:7.
We have only two choices, accept people, or reject them. When you realize this, it may change the way you treat people. Too often we try to change people in order to accept them because we expect them to fit our mold for them. It is not our job to change people. Only God can really change people. Our job is to love, serve and help them as a reflection of Christ in our lives.
Jesus is the perfect example and He does not reject people, “However, those the Father has given me will come to me, and I will never reject them.” (John 6:37) God accepts people as they are. Acceptance means to welcome and to extend grace to the people close to us and those on the periphery. But then there is the whole question of real-life application when it comes to accepting others.
A good first step is realizing that as a follower of Jesus that you begin each day with the full assurance of God’s acceptance. God knows everything there is possibly to know about us and yet we are fully and eternally accepted by the God of the universe. Accepted, not endured; welcomed, not tolerated; wanted, not “just put up with.” God knows our failures, foolishness, weaknesses, lack of faith and sinful nature and yet He totally accepts us. It is absolutely overwhelming to be be seen for what we truly are and still be wanted and loved by Him. We are the one out of the 99 He brought home. We are the woman at the well that nobody wanted to talk to.We are the rich man who had an abundant harvest and wanted to build even bigger barns.
If we experience this type of acceptance, how do we transfer the acceptance we experience to others. We need God’s acceptance of others because there will always be people that we disagree with on any number of issues. To accept others as Jesus accepts us, we need to ask God to free us from a lack of faith. We need to pray and ask God to accept people without prejudice or being judgmental. It should not matter if they are rich or poor, highly educated or uneducated; It shouldn’t matter what the color of their skin is, or the country or culture they come from. We need to see people as Jesus sees people and accept them as He accepts us.
- Which is harder for you, accepting others or accepting yourself? Why?
- What are some ways that we can accept others as Jesus accepts us?