December 31, 2017

How Acceptance Pushes us Forward: 3 Examples




“Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus; that ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God.”—Romans 15:5-7 (KJV)

Life is usually simple for the young. Babies and toddlers generally expect, and receive, love. If an innocent baby could talk, it might say:
  • “When I cry, I will be helped.”
  • “This person holding me is not going to hurt me; I know her.”
  • “Everyone wants to help me.”

As we age, reality sets in. The people closest to us may no longer be willing and able to immediately help us for two prime reasons:
  • We’re more self-sufficient.
  • We might be expected to earn certain kinds of assistance.

Relationships become complicated. Parents, teachers, and leaders have limitations and issues. They cannot do everything for everybody. Nobody can.

My last articles here and here were about recognizing Jesus’ unconditional love (agape). Since this sublime trait isn’t always easy to grasp, what’s the alternative?

Acceptance

(Please view my non-fiction book about finding acceptance, Accept No Trash Talk: Overcoming the Odds here.)

Jesus Christ was all about tolerance as well. As shown in the image above, He healed and interacted with people of all social levels. This included those considered outcasts.

In today’s globalized, diverse worldview, we come across many ideas. I’m not suggesting we act against our ethics or morals. The fact remains that each person must make numerous choices regarding their beliefs, words, and actions. Even loved ones won’t always agree on everything.


In plenty of instances, there isn’t only a single method to accomplish a certain goal. It can be tempting to immediately correct someone and show him “the best way” to act or think. This can relate to cooking, grooming, or more complicated tasks.

Me

Numerous people have corrected me on jobs, and in my personal life. Some of them gave me much more criticism than praise. Which do you think I remember—the kind words, or the harsh ones? Do you think the unkindness spurs me—or anyone—to work harder in the long term?

Speaking for myself, I am 99% more likely to remember the negativity. In fact, I carry it with me for quite a while.

Cooking

I believe in following recipes—to a certain point. Frankly, some recipes don’t work well as written. In addition, I often have to adjust them according to my dietary restrictions, the ingredients I have on hand, and so forth. I even add items to premeasured, store-bought baking mixes. I get rave reviews on them, too.

The Missionary

I read a story about a young man who was serving a mission. He was unhappy, and he wanted to return home.  His supervisor asked a church leader to speak with the teen.

The leader and the missionary did talk, sort of. It didn’t go well at first. The young man fidgeted, looked out a window, and did everything but listen as the leader lectured him. He wasn’t engaged at all. There was not even any eye contact.

The leader was finally inspired to change his tactics. He stopped lecturing him. He told the young man he loved him, and he was so glad they’d met. The young man was stunned. He hadn’t ever expected or received love. I’m not sure, but he may have chosen to complete his mission.

My Conclusion

Individuals connected through love with Jesus, not through condemnation. That is where the healing/change began. That’s where it starts with us, too.  He showed us that everyone should have a voice. It’s up to us to accept varying methods and abilities.

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How are you accepting others?