Today I want to discuss acceptance. I had something prepared on getting to know Jesus, but this just kept rolling around in my head and God kept pressing me on it.
So, I will talk about acceptance and post the other one tomorrow.
I have faced a lot of rejection in my life. People do not readily accept someone who is different or strange or even very reserved (I am reserved because I am different and strange – it is easier to just be reserved and thought of as shy than to have people get upset and offended by my behavior or what I say).
It hurts when people don’t accept you. I have always felt like an outsider, a misfit, like I did not belong.
However, Jesus says “come as you are.” He accepts all of us just as we are, right where we are. I mean, He was hanging out with thieves and prostitutes and murderers! He ministered to lepers!
But it seems that many Christians pick and choose who they minister to, who they accept. I guess I fall into the category of leper (or something like it but I am not contagious). I am different, not the status quo.
To not accept people and choose not to minister to them because they have ugly parts or are “sinners” (guess what, we are ALL sinners – even YOU!) is just not Godly.
Jesus doesn’t care where you have been or who you were, He just cares the you are reaching out for Him. He is only concerned with where you are going.
Why can’t more people be like that?
We should be reaching out to everyone, ministering to everyone!
NO LOST SOUL LEFT BEHIND!!!
When it comes down to it, Jesus is the one who died for us. It wasn’t any of us on that cross, so who are we to decide who gets ministered to, who gets invited to church, who gets to hear God’s word – and who gets left behind?
I am not messing with that! Jesus died for ALL of us – even the people who persecuted Him, even the people who crucified Him.
Wow, what an incredible gift and not one of us deserve it – NO ONE! But it is ours for the asking, simple as that.
I accept people as they are, where they are, I think because I have not been accepted so often.
But acceptance goes deep; it isn’t just lip service.
In my case, you might say, “I accept you with your Asperger’s.” But the first time I offend you or hurt your feelings you reject me and hold a grudge. Even though, because of the Asperger’s, I have absolutely no idea whatsoever what you are angry about or what I did wrong, you give me the silent treatment, yell at me or stop being my friend.
That is acceptance, but only on your terms – with limitations. It is not true acceptance.
So, when you meet people today, when God places people in your path for you to minister to and show them His face, accept the whole of them, not just the pieces that are comfortable or appealing.
It’s the not-so-comfortable and not-so-appealing parts that need the ministry the most.