This post on Accepting Others as They Are was written by Jeffrey Chen, who is pursuing a Masters degree in Marriage and Family Therapy at Fuller Theological Seminary. Jeffrey has a passion for sharing God’s love with those around him. He blogs at The Wayvy Life.
I struggle with pride. I think I am a “good” person. I think I am better than others. I look down on people who may not look or act like I think they should. I judge others for their flaws in my mind, while ignoring my own. I sometimes even point out their mistakes so that they can “change” and become more like me – a superior human being. But, at the end of the day, I show no love or care for them. After all, they don’t deserve it given how “bad” they are.
God could certainly do the same with me. He is far more superior, powerful, smarter, righteous, and just than I am. He could very easily point out every single wrong trait and action of mine and tell me that just won’t cut it. He could condemn me and tell me that until I better myself and follow all of His commands, He will not love or care for me. Why should He?
But, that is not what God does. Instead, He loves and loves and loves. No matter what. Unconditionally. Without fail. God accepts us not when we meet a certain standard, but right now as we are. How much He loves us is not based on how “good” of a person we are, but just on the fact that we are alive. Nothing we say or do can earn or cause us to lose God’s love for us. We have it now, we always have, and we always will.
What if we had the same attitude? What if we loved others the way God loves us? Because first off, the fact of the matter is that we are no more deserving of God’s love than anybody else. We all make mistakes and fall short of God’s glory. Nobody is perfect. We need to realize that. Yes, other people have their issues, but so do we. How can we really say for sure we are superior to any other human being? We cannot. All men and women are created equal.
As such, God loves us all equally even though we are all sinners undeserving of His love. If this is the case, if God see us all the same, shouldn’t we do the same? Yet, we do not. Not only do we often love ourselves more, but we discriminate against others based of how they look, talk, what they do, who they hang out with, what they believe in, etc.
That is not okay. While we should certainly stand up for righteousness and justice, we should not see ourselves as better than others. We should not look down on others for their mistakes. We should not judge them for what they say or do. Instead, we should accept them as they are. We should treat them with respect. We should love them. Everybody. Not just those who look similar, think similar, or act similar. Everybody. Because that is what God does.
Of course, this is not easy. It is hard to treat everybody the same, especially when they have hurt you personally. But, we must try. Who do you look down upon? Who do you shame? Remember they are a child of God just like you and everybody else. Try to accept them, whatever that looks like. It could be as simple as giving them a wave, shaking their hand, or not slandering them behind their back. Maybe even give them a hug if you’re a hugger. You might be surprised to learn their heart beats the same as yours.
As always, please feel free to reach out to me for feedback, questions, suggestions on topics, or anything else. I’m happy to chat about anything and everything. I hope you could take away something helpful from this post. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
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