As I return home from church God stirred in my spirit the idea of acceptance. What does it mean to be accepted? The world’s idea of acceptance looks like popularity. It looks like a smile, a hug, feeling like you belong. It brings you comfort. Rests your weary spirit. Allows you to feel secure in your environment and in your own skin. Is that what we strive for? Acceptance from man? Looking at things from how we feel or perceive to feel. We have this-worldly idea of what acceptance should look like. When we don’t measure up to that standard we say things like they don’t like me because I’m overweight, they don’t like me because of you fill in the blank. Whose approval are we seeking Jesus or man? If we are striving for worldly acceptance we are highly misguided and if I can boldly say prideful. Who are we to demand that someone submit to our idea of what acceptance looks like.
Biblically and in the church, we are taught to accept the poor, the blind, the sick, the hungry and the hurting. Yet when we see someone who has no indication of those things we don’t accept them. We shun them because they don’t meet our standard of brokenness. They look like they have it all together. They live in the suburbs in their nice house , have 2.5 kids and drive a Honda. We forgot that these people carry loads of hurt and pain. They are broken, weak, sick and in pain. We neglect to give them acceptance because we can’t see their scars. In Romans 15:7 it says “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.” Think about when we accept people as Christ does we don’t only feel good but it brings Christ praise. It is an outward indication of our obedience. The picture to humanity that Christ is living in us. We are transformed. We don’t harbor a judgemental spirit. A spirit of doubt. A spirit of division. But that of oneness and inclusion. Love and acceptance. We should be thanking and praising God for removing our blinders and showing us the joy that comes with acceptance.