credit: Michelle Meiklejohn
Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. ~ Romans 15:7
Why is it so hard to simply accept each other for who we are? It seems like this is a universal struggle among Christians, and people in general. Far too often, we feel the need to make others look and act more like ourselves. Why? I'm not sure I really know, maybe it's insecurity on our part, maybe it's simply because we do not understand the other person and we tend to fear what we do not understand. Whatever the reason, it can become a big problem.
But God asks us to accept each other the way Christ accepts us. How does Christ accept us? With love and open arms. He accepts us where we are, in whatever circumstances we may find ourselves.
This does not mean He accepts sin, His whole purpose is to bring people out of sin and into fellowship with Him. However, he does accept the person, and then, with love, gives victory over sin. He works from a point of love, not condemnation. And sometimes the process is slow, and when we jump in and get in the way with our judgement and unloving actions and words we can hinder this process.
And when our differences are not a matter of sin, but simply of differences in people, there is simply no reason for judgement and a lack of acceptance. God made us each different for a reason and to judge these differences is like saying God didn't know what He was doing when He made that person.
When we do accept each other as Christ accepts us, we give a powerful testimony to those around us. And this is what this verse is speaking of - bringing glory to God through our love those around us.