John 13:5, “For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you.”
There should be no one else more accepting in this world than a disciple of Jesus. But many Christians are the exact opposite. And the fact that remains is the deepest wounds and the most hurt you may ever experience in life will be wounds of rejection. In wounds of rejection we find our deepest hurts.
The sad thing is those wounds of rejection often comes from those who should love us most. A parent, a spouse or former spouse, or a close family member or friend. Everybody experiences rejection in life. And we spend most of our lives fearing it or doing everything we can trying to avoid it.
In fact, most of what the world does is a combination of trying to be accepted by other people and trying to avoid rejection. Think about it, clothes we wear, the way you style your hair, the car we drive, our careers, where we live, and the list goes on. We can make so many things about receiving acceptance and not experiencing rejection.
Consider this for a moment, kids will do non sense because their friends or peers “double dogged dared them.” Even when it’s something they really don’t want to do, but they just want to fit in. Young ladies will give their bodies to some undeserving guy prematurely because they just want to be loved and accepted. Make no mistake about it, at the depth of man’s heart is a longing for acceptance and love.
If you were absolutely perfect everyone would still not love and accept you. The problem isn’t always about you, often the problem is with the ones that reject us.
When I first became a Senior Pastor there was a few that never gave me a chance. Never gave me a chance to do the right thing, never gave me a chance to fix things they felt were wrong, and never gave me a chance at much of anything really. But I refused to get bitter and offended because I knew their problem was more with themselves than it was with me. Listen Church, “if you don’t live by the praises (and acceptance) of man, you won’t die by their criticism.”
Jesus was perfect in love and in relationships and they nailed him to a cross. No matter what you do somebody’s not going to like you. No matter what you do, somebody’s going to disagree with you. You will not make everyone happy in life. Some one in this life will reject you. People will say “hosanna” one day and cry “crucify him” the next day.
I believe we start learning to love others by realizing how much God loves and accepts us. When you get a revelation on how Father loves and accepts us you will never look at your relationship with others the same again.
You can be a Christian all your life and never really feel accepted by God. Some people feel like God’s always out to get them once they make a mistake and they live with condemnation while feeling eternally insecure. If you feel like no matter what you do it’s not good enough you need to look at Jesus’ life and catch the revelation of Father’s heart for you.
We do not have a Father that demands B’s when you come home with C’s and demands A’s when you come home with B’s. You may have had un-pleasable parents but your Heavenly Father is good, just, merciful, and He wants to give you what you need, He has grace for you. You measure up in Father’s eyes, He’s not disappointed in you. So, stop trying to earn approval.
“There are seven and a half billion people in the world. If two or three people don’t like you so what?”
Most people don’t know the difference between acceptance and approval. Jesus accepts you completely. That doesn’t mean he approves of everything you do. You can accept someone without approving of what they do. Jesus accepted the woman caught in adultery but He didn’t approve of her decisions.
I really believe we don’t have to make people feel guilty. I will not step behind a pulpit with an intention of making any of you guilty. And I expect the same from anyone else I let get behind it. So many feel guilty enough without me bringing more condemnation. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather have someone to teach me how to have a better life. I want someone to lead me to Jesus so He can save me from my sin.
You don’t have to go around approving everything people do. But you should love and accept people. What God does for you, He expects you to do for other people.
Romans 15:7, “Therefore, accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us to the glory of God.”
Don’t be that person that waits till everyone else is pleasing to you and starts doing everything the way you like it before you accept them. People don’t really need your love and acceptance a year or more down the road. They need it now.
Having the heart of Jesus means I accept other people the way Jesus accepts me.