When we realize that God accepts us and loves us the way we are in Christ Jesus (Rom. 15:7), we are free to concentrate on love and spiritual growth rather than try to appease God. Christ’s acceptance of us becomes the model for how we ought to accept each other. This truth has transformational results, as illustrated by the life of Raj.
Raj shared how he had struggled with an adulterous relationship. He confessed he had repented and ended his affair. He also shared the spiritual torment he experienced in not being able to interact honestly in the small group, he attended. After Raj had finished his confession, the group was quiet for a while. Then, one by one, the group members expressed their own share of struggles. A member said, “the group needs to introspect on how we can make our Fellowship a safe place for people to be vulnerable.’
The conversation did not end that evening. Raj, over a period of time, dealt with factors that had led to the affair. He discussed the fears that kept him from telling the group sooner. The group helped Raj to stay accountable so that he could experience restoration and the healing he needed. We tend to work very hard to make ourselves good enough for God. This is the law of karma working within us. Our tendency to prove our self-righteousness, our pride, and our fear of being dependent, vulnerable and needy, keeps us away from God. Acceptance does away with the need to prove ourselves worthy and replaces it with an appeal to live on the basis of relationship rather than performance and good works. We come to forever be in a state of acceptance.
When we experience the love of God, we become free to love others as God’s creation. This is one of the most liberating truths revealed in the life and work of Jesus Christ. Let us accept one another as Christ has accepted us.