For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men. Romans 14:18

Today, I’d like to talk about affirming one another’s infinite worth. Dr. Phil calls it having a safe place to fall, but I simply call it acceptance.

There are some things that all the hard work in the world won’t change and other things that require way too much energy to influence. Accordingly, we can’t change each other; only God can do that. Often, we don’t have the complete perspective on another person anyway, especially without dialogue. So, learn to treat each other with empathy and the benefit of the doubt.

When we let go of pride and accept our neighbours as beings in need of love, just as we are, our whole perspective changes. Suddenly, it’s not about us. Walk in someone else’s shoes and appreciate their quirks. We can’t keep focusing on externals, sizing people up, and putting them in categories without trying to get to know them. Usually, our first impressions are quite wrong.

Imagine the way you feel when you’re free to make mistakes and not face condemnation. You’re liberated to be vulnerable, and you can allow the real you to shine. Being you is wonderful, when the pressure is off and you’re loved and accepted for who you are.

It takes time and work to master the art of acceptance. However, this is how real, solid, lifelong relationships are formed. Judgment and criticism have no place in God’s family. Allow people to be who they are, and take the time to understand the place where they’re coming from.

Only God has the final word on changing behaviours. Seek to foster acceptance in all of your relationships. The Lord accepts us as we are, and we should extend that gift to others as well.