Saturday, March 8, 2014
Accept People As They Are
ROMANS 15:7 NIV
7 Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.
We have only two choices, accept people, or reject them. When you realize this, it may change the way you treat people.
When we criticize or condemn people, we communicate rejection. When we try to change people, it communicates that they are not good enough for us, that we don't like them.
"But what if they are not perfect? What if they don't believe everything I believe?"
Were you born believing all you do now? Or did you go through a process of learning over time? Should we throw out people because they still have something to learn?
What happens when you don't accept people as they are? It feeds the lie that they are no good and have no value.
We can accept people and celebrate their value without approving of their sins. But when we refuse to accept people until they are perfect, we communicate rejection.
When someone feels rejected, they tend to reject those who reject them, and what they represent. So when Christians communicate rejection to sinners, they assume God is rejecting them, and tend to reject God because they think He rejects them.
Whenever you reject someone, you have set yourself up as their judge, something only God is truly qualified to do.
To walk with Jesus you will have to treat people as Jesus would treat them. You may not like the way they look, talk, act, think, or smell, but if they are a human being you must acknowledge that Jesus Christ loves them enough to die for them.
Jesus is our perfect example, and He is not rejecting people (John 6:37). Instead, the Bible reveals that Jesus Christ is our Advocate, (our defense lawyer), not the one who condemns (1 John 2:1, Romans 8:34).
People are hurting. Usually they know they need to change, to be better, and to do better. What they have not discovered is a way they can change. They have probably tried, but given up in defeat.
Only God's unconditional love can give them the strength they need to have hope. Most people realize that if they must earn God's help there is no hope for them.
This is the main reason why so many people shun Christianity and want to have nothing to do with God. They have accepted a wrong image of God, thinking He is a stern Judge who is against them, instead of realizing the truth that He is a loving Father like the father in the story of the Prodigal Son that Jesus told us about in Luke 15:11-32.
God accepts people as they are. So should we. Christ died for the ungodly (Romans 5:6). God so loved the world that He gave.
People crave love. Unconditional love will draw people. It is God's goodness that leads people to repent (Romans 2:4).
Every time we meet someone, we are faced with a choice: love them -- or judge them, accept them as they are -- or attempt to change them, make them feel respected -- or despised, make them feel valuable and precious -- or make them feel worthless.
You might as well accept people as they are instead of trying to change them. You can't change people anyway. Only God can really change people. Our job is to love them and help them.
Also remember that God made people to be different. So don't expect everyone will be exactly like you.
SAY THIS: I will accept people and love them with God's love.
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