Giving First: Acceptance
“Therefore receive one another, just as Christ also received us, to the glory of God.” Romans 15:7
We live in a world that daily asks us to accept different things. When we upgrade our iPhone or computer, we are asked to read an agreement and accept it. If we are honest, we have come to the point that we no longer read the agreement, we just scroll down and click accept! We accept people on social media, even though we have no clue who they are. We accept the transaction fee to withdraw our own money from an ATM machine. We punch the button to accept the fee and pay an extra five dollars to get twenty dollars. In the midst of this “blind” acceptance, one can’t help but wonder if we are blindly rejecting the people that God has placed in our paths?
We pass by people every day at work, school and even church who are longing to be accepted. We don’t notice them because we enter the room looking for people with whom we already have a relationship. We join them and block out everyone else.
If a new person was pointed out to us, we say “I already have a good group of friends,” or “I’m not sure that’s the kind of person I need to be associated with.” Read those two statements out loud. Now go back and read Romans 15:7. We should be glad that Jesus didn’t say that about reaching out to us! He willingly accepted us, regardless of our past!
We sometimes forget where we came from, and think that we are better than we really are. Remember that Jesus reached out to us and accepted us. He told us to do the same for others. The next time someone is sitting alone, remember this verse and step out to make a new friend.
Jesus, where would I be if You had not reached out and accepted me? Thank You for seeing past my faults and failures and taking me in. Help me to see people the way You see them. Help me move past my fear of rejection and the opinions of others, so that I can take the first step and reach out in Your name. Amen