Week 20: “Accept One Another”
Ask God to reorient you to Himself. Confess any known sin. Thank Him for His forgiveness. Be still and reflect on Jesus and His sacrifice for you. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your heart and mind to God’s Word. Pray for others in your life that they, too, would know and love God today.
Romans 15:1 We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. 2 Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. 3 For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: “The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.” 4 For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. 5 May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, 6 so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 7 Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.
We are not merely to accept others; we are to accept “one another.” You must accept others as Christ has, but you must also allow them to do the same for you. For some, allowing others to accept them may be a greater challenge than to be the one accepting others. To allow others to accept you means you will be known by them. They must know you adequately and accurately enough to be able to have an authentic relationship with you. You will not be able to do image management and, at the same time, allow others to accept you as Christ accepted you. But you may wonder, isn’t this a contradiction? If they are going to accept me as I am, wouldn’t that indicate they should accept my insecurities, and even my desire to put forth a “good image,” though it will be inaccurate and incomplete? No, it’s not a contradiction; it is looking at accepting one another from different perspectives. When you look at others in their weaknesses and failures, you must choose to accept them right where they are. In regard to being accepted by others, you are not to demand they accept you, but you are to allow them to do so. You must do your level best to let them see who you really are, both in your strengths and weaknesses, in order that they can accept the real you, not some fabrication of a false you. Is this a double standard? No, it is a single standard, sometimes called the “Great Commandment.” You are to love others in the same way that you would want others to love you. So, in regard to accepting others, you take them right where they are. In regard to being accepted by others, you offer them the real you. This is a dual application of a single standard. You cannot choose for others, but you must choose for yourself. Make the good and God-blessed choice of accepting one another. Do both. Accept them as they are and allow them to accept you, as you actually are.
(Personalize this prayer today; make it specific to the circumstances that face you.)
Ask God to lead you through His Spirit as you go through your day. Ask Him to bring to mind the truth of the gospel and its implications for what you will encounter today. Tell Him “Yes” to His will and ask Him for His power and protection to live this “yes.” Ask God to create and reveal opportunities to proclaim the good news today.