I Was Just Thinking About – ACCEPTANCE.
Most days, a wise friend and faithful servant of the Lord posts helpful tidbits of Christian wisdom on Facebook. Yesterday, he posted: “Every human has something unique to contribute, but each needs the help of others to recognize and use their gifts!”Top of Form As I meditated upon his expressed thought, I commented: “One of the saddest things in a professing Christian group is for someone to feel rejected, unwanted, unneeded and/or passed by. It is a painful and haunting experience for those who have had to endure it.” He noted: “I have seen it, and it's most sad indeed!”
Later on, I was dialoging with a Pastor whose heart is to touch the lives of people without any pre-conditions on his or the Church’s part. He shared about a young couple who desperately need someone to show love and compassion toward them, as well as acceptance of who and where they are. A Church can be a difficult place to find acceptance. It’s alright to attend because “numbers” can be interpreted as growth. However, people attending a Church usually have felt-needs. Too often, there is a lack of interest in “their” need. Sometimes, there can be (and has been) the sense conveyed: “They’re not our kind of people.” Really? Yes!
What’s wrong with the Church and the professing Christian community when it comes to welcoming strangers or those who may be different?
Just a few Biblical notations that seem to be forgotten:
Deuteronomy 10:19, “You must show love to strangers, for you yourselves were once strangers (foreigners) in the land of Egypt.”
Romans 12:13, “Extend hospitality to strangers.”
Hebrews 13:1, “Let mutual love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.”
Matthew 25:35, Jesus said: “I was a stranger and you welcomed me.”
Romans 15:7, “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.”
Okay, professing Christian, you have these challenging words of Scripture to read, know and do – James 1:22-25, “Be doers of the word, and not hearers only. Otherwise, you are deceiving yourselves…But the one who looks intently into the perfect law of freedom, and continues to do so—not being a forgetful hearer, but an effective doer—he will be blessed in what he does.”
Professing Christian, how will YOU respond to James 1:22-25? When will you begin to be “doers of The Word and not hearers only”?
Prayerfully – Consider these things with me!