All of us were made with the longing to be accepted and feel like we belong. It is the way the Lord created us. Ultimately, we know only full, complete acceptance and belonging comes through a deep, abiding relationship with Jesus Christ. Only He can fulfill those deep longings for love, belonging, and acceptance.
However, Jesus himself came to earth to teach us how to live here. He showed us through His perfect example on earth how to perfectly relate and live with one another. Just because it seems complicated or too overwhelming doesn’t mean we don’t try. Will we ever do it perfectly like Jesus did? No way! Do we give up because we can’t meet that perfection? No way! We continue to live in His mercy and grace and strength every day, under His easy burden, doing the best we can do through the power of surrendering to the Holy Spirit every day. We say: “Not my will, Lord, but Yours.”
Accepting others just the way they are and how God made them is a very hard thing to actually do. We have many high expectations for people we encounter every day—friends, extended family, even Christians. We may have even higher expectations for the people in our core family: our husband and our children. When these expectations are not met, we can become very discouraged and lose hope. It can cause much friction in relationships. But where we have to start is with acceptance. [Read more...]