God Accepts Me
All of us do, say and think wrong things. In addition, we all fall short in doing, saying and thinking right things.
At the human level, as long as we keep to the standard of what is "socially acceptable" then we are OK. But if we miss the mark, then we fall foul of the law of the land, and end up being penalised. We have to pay some penalty (unless we don't get found out!).
At the spiritual level, things are different. We have all missed the mark. But the penalty has already been paid!
Because he loves us so much, God himself became a human being, in the person of Jesus Christ, and he died for us when he was crucified on the cross. "For Christ also died, for sins, once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God" 1 Peter 3:18
So the basis for being accepted by God is simply for me to accept what God has done in Christ.
2 things follow from this:-
God accepts me, therefore I should accept myself.
a. In spite of my sin. God saw all my sins before I'd even committed any of them. So, my sins can't take God by surprise. And in fact he's already dealt with them. There is no sin that God is unable to forgive. Confess, yes, but press on. Don't drag up old sins to God - he would say "what sin?"! And in your relationship with God, give up trying to make amends for sin.
So for the Christian, where are our sins now? As far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12). Blotted out (Isaiah 43:25). God remembers them no more (Jeremiah 31:34). Get the picture?
b. In spite of my weaknesses/status/foibles/errors. Do I feel inferior, ignorant, low, with nothing to offer? Beware of comparing myself with others here. But God accepts me as I am. It doesn't depend on my abilities or performance - but just because he loves me! I can't earn his acceptance, so I may as well give up trying to.
c. In spite of what others think of me. If others don't accept me, they have a bit of a problem. But how do I react? Do I constantly try to impress? Do I try to look better than the other person? Am I trying to keep up an image? But God accepts me, not on the basis of whether I have a talent, or how successful I am, or how I look - but on the basis of his love and forgiveness. So I can accept myself.
God accepts me, therefore I must accept others.
Who are the people we look down on, dislike, judge, despise, take offence at... ?
If I don't accept others, I'm putting my standards higher than God's. We forget that Jesus Christ died for them, not just for me! The other person is of great importance to God. Also, if I don't accept others, I make myself a hypocrite - since I am a fellow imperfect human being.
Examples of types of people:
The people with less than I have, who don't know as much as I do, who don't have as much as me, who aren't as able as I am. I'm no better than they are, even if I have more than they have.
The people with more than me. Can give rise to jealousy or envy. But maybe God has a different plan for me, just for me.
People with different personalities, ideas, ways of doing things, with whom we don't naturally click. God loves them just as much as me.
Ideas for accepting others:
What is God's attitude to that person?
Learn to listen to others, rather than butting in before they've finished, with our own thoughts etc.
Do I "love" someone for my own benefit, rather than for theirs.
Meditate on these things, in order to make them part of your life!