Acceptance is important to all of us. In fact, the need to be accepted never goes away. It’s something we navigate as people in every stage of life. This need for acceptance can lead us into joy, disappointment and the journey of discovering ourselves. No one is exempt from it. Some of our most vivid memories come from being either embraced or rejected by those we care about. Because of these experiences, we tend to see others through these lenses as well.
Because of these experiences, we must guard our hearts so we don’t live in distrust or fear. This is easier said than done! Have you ever rejected someone? In truth, we have all done it, and it has been done to all of us. So the cycle continues.
What’s sad is, the church deals with the same exact issue.
I’ve been on both sides of this coin, and it’s weird that as Christians we still practice high school behaviors. We accept those we think are “cool,” and then we push away those we don’t think “fit in.” How sad. I’m glad Jesus isn’t like this! But this happens every weekend at churches and conferences all over the place. Some are embraced, and others are encouraged to move on. What’s even worse is that we decide this based on shallow things like clothes, style, knowledge or who they know.
In Christ, though, we are challenged to arise to higher levels. It’s my conviction that, to fulfill the heartbeat of God, this acceptance issue must change.
You see, Jesus accepts us for where we are, regardless of how we look. His love is unconditional, so it’s not based on who is popular, who looks cool, who is beautiful or other fickle stuff. Instead, His approval is based on His divine affection for every person in the world. Because of this love, He has amazing things in store for us. Jesus is reaching out to accept anyone into His family – no pretense or pedigree, just the raw person.
“All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me, I will by no means cast out.”John 6:37
Notice, Jesus gives us acceptance when we come to Him.
This is why acceptance is a core value at City Church. We create a place for everyone, because Jesus made a place for us. I’m fully convinced that God is reaching for people. So the question is, will we reach with Him? At City, everyone is welcome!
No matter your ethnicity, background, struggle, issues, past or present secrets, you have place with us as we love, build and lead. I’m so passionate about this core value that I get emotional just writing about it. People are reaching for God right now – so will we model the love of Jesus to them? We must!
Are we giving acceptance to others?
Please, don’t let someone’s lifestyle, beliefs or situations keep you from giving what God gave you. To be clear, acceptance doesn’t mean I have to agree on every point or that I believe the exact same thing as someone. It does mean I give the grace and mercy of God freely, no matter where the person is at. Isn’t this what Jesus did for you and me?
No matter the level of rejection you have faced, arise in the love of God. Be secure in His love for you by giving this gift of acceptance away. Our time is now, and we can’t afford to let the pettiness of our own offense block God’s work in us. Too many of us have allowed someone else’s opinion define us. In truth, God always gives us acceptance.
Our greatest identity is in Him. Jesus does not measure our lives by what others think, whether they accept or reject us, but rather by what He thinks of us.
I don’t know what you feel today or what you are facing, but I know that Jesus offers you acceptance. He gives you everything He has in order to fulfill His plan for your life. Receive this love and give this acceptance away.
Have a great weekend and may the love of God fill you more and more.