August 29, 2011 in Simple Religion
I have been thinking on this the last few days and am excited to share it. God doesn’t accept you. Acceptance has been such a big thing lately. We are taught to accept different personalities, different likes, different lifestyles and different religions. All of these things are great and I teach them to my children, but with God, it is different. He doesn’t accept us.
Acceptance itself is actually kind of a selfish and hands off concept. Acceptance states that ‘I’ am OK with what you are doing and how it might affect ‘me’. I might accept my children’s loud play, or my husband coming home late. Both are annoying to me, but I can ‘accept’ it. I can accept that the world is full of ideas and that I can’t be universally acknowledged as right all the time.
Acceptance can also be how it affects someone else. I cannot accept slavery, famine or prejudice and I will do what I can in my power to stop those that cause it. Still, acceptance is hands off, and centered on the affect of the person, not the person himself. God is not like this. God does not accept us.
God loves, and love is much more than acceptance. Love is centered on the person. Love says “Because I love you, you cannot go on like this”. It says “Even though you don’t want to hear this, I love you and you need to know”. Love says “I believe you are so much more than this”. Love isn’t easy and sometimes it hurts.
Acceptance is much easier. We can all ignore each others faults and tell each other what we want to hear. Love isn’t like that. Love is much deeper.
If God doesn’t accept does God expect us to be perfect? Not at all! Romans 5:8 says that ‘While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.’ He loved us when we were at our worst. He will still love us if we screw up… bad. His love isn’t based on anything we do or don’t do. He just loves us, but that love does not overlooking our mistakes, it is hurt by them, affected by them and wanting to help us overcome them.
His love is patient and kind (1 Corinthians 13) and it is also perfect. He wants us to each become like His Son. He made us, knows what will make us happy and wants us to grow. He loves us where we are, but won’t just ignore what we are.
This is the awsome gospel. Looking at God we see the terrible sinners that we all are. Why, when realizing the mess we are and the mess we in, would we just want acceptance? God doesn’t accept us, he cares way to much.
That isn’t all. It isn’t that hard, because love is a changing experience. I hope everyone gets to experience love in this life. Love from a parent, child, spouse, teacher, mentor, or even a dog. Love is an amazing thing. It is an incredible gift that changes both the giver and the receiver. It offers a safe place to grow and be yourself. If love from an imperfect human (or dog) can have that affect, how much more can the love of God change us.
So, God doesn’t accept you, and that is an amazing thing! God wants for us, believes we can be, and helps us become more than we would ever think possible like His Son.