"Acceptance"

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By: Autumn Sisk

Romans 15:7, “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.” (NIV)

Every human being wants to be accepted. Our Heavenly Father has promised to love and accept each of us just as we are, but does that change the way we behave toward other people? If the Holy God of the universe sees fit to accept me, as imperfect and faulty as I am, then what right do I have to be unaccepting and condemning of others?

I often feel like humans set higher standards for acceptance than Jesus does. It sounds silly, but if you really think about it, it is true. If we were as loving and accepting toward others as Jesus is, then there would be no cliques at school, no country clubs, no racism, and the number of wars would greatly diminish. We wouldn’t have to make a certain amount of money to be accepted to private clubs or schools. There would be no “popular” kids at school, because everyone would be popular. We would not look at others and judge them as readily as we do now if we were perfectly accepting of others.

I have always believed that Jesus came to earth as a poor, unattractive man in order to test the hearts of those around Him. The ones who accepted Jesus did so because they saw into His heart, not caring how he appeared on the outside, or what political group He was affiliated with. In return, even though He was God in the form of man, people either loved or hated Jesus because He was so accepting of those around Him. He loved and accepted those that society saw as untouchables, such as prostitutes, tax collectors, and Samaritans (a group that was seen as the lowest of the low by the Israelites).

As His followers, we need to have the same attitude as Christ. If we love and accept all people, we will truly be like Him. We bring Him glory through our love for other people. He has accepted us despite our faults and shortcomings, so we need to open our hearts and minds to be more accepting and less judgmental of others as well. By accepting others, we can more easily lead those who don’t know Jesus into a relationship with our wonderful Savior.

Prayer:

Dear Lord, thank You for accepting me just as I am. Your love is amazing. Please live through me and allow me to accept and love others as You do. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Related Resources:

Every Teen Girl's Little Pink Book on Girlfriends, by Cathy Bartel

Biblezine 2009: The Complete New Testament for Girls

Think About It:

Do I judge others based on race, social status or their friends?

Am I condemning of people who I see as “sinners”?

Live It:

Ask Christ to show you when you are not being accepting of others.

Talk to your friends and form a pact to be open to those who are not like you. Give them a chance to be your friend.

Power Verses:

Philippians 2:5, “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.” (NIV)

1 Samuel 16:7, “The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (NIV)

© 2009 by Autumn Sisk. All rights reserved.

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Tell Us About It:

What does it mean to you to love others as God loves you?


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