Thank you for visiting. We trust that you have enjoyed reading our articles.
Acceptance is not Approval
“Accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory” (Romans 15:7 NLT).
The blood of Jesus provides us the opportunity for forgiveness of our sins. Our sins will be cast as far as the east is from the west once we earnestly repent and ask His forgiveness. However, our society has slowly tried to redefine what is and is not a sin. In the political world, these are known as wedge issues that force people to one side or the other. By design, there is no common ground. Similarly, the enemy seeks to find issues to divide us because he knows we are weaker when divided.
Some people living a non-repented sinful life want the Body of Christ to categorize their sin as acceptable. The exact type of sin is not necessarily as important as its reclassification. The goal is to allow the sin to become acceptable and label those that do not approve as intolerant.
I have a friend living in a sinful manner with no desire to change. I do not feel it is my place to judge him. However, I do feel it is my place to love him. I know that by showing him love, I am giving glory to God. I know that God is love and great glory comes from revealing God to others without judgment. I have my own sins so I am in no place to judge anybody else, but I can and do offer intercessory prayers for my friend. I hope he prays for me too!
You can show love to others just by accepting them. Just because you don’t like what people do doesn’t mean you can’t accept them. I think that non-repented sinner need our love and acceptance the most. Jesus said in Luke 5:32, “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”
Most of us are familiar with the story of Jesus encountering a woman accused of adultery in John 8. The men left after Jesus told them that whoever is without sin should cast the first stone. I feel that Jesus was indicating that if you are without sin, then by definition you must be God, and as such you are free to render judgment. His last words to her were, “Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more (John 8:11).” Our Lord had every right to offer judgment, instead offered mercy and grace. It is critical that we all recognize that He did not condone the sin and instructed her to “sin no more.”
Jesus was modeling for us the difference between acceptance and approval. We can accept people without approving of everything they do. We are called to accept everybody; we are not called to approve of everything everybody does. God loves us, but it doesn’t mean He approves of everything we do. Love is not saying I approve of everything you do. Love is saying I accept you in spite of what you do.
Prayer: Dear God, Thank you for the unconditional love you bestow upon your children. Help us to show that love to everyone we meet. You are our sovereign God, and we trust in you and you alone.
Meet the Author
Todd Shupe is a Men’s Ministry Specialist through the General Commission of United Methodist Men and is in training to be a Certified Lay Minister through the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church. He currently serves as the President of the Baton Rouge District of United Methodist Men and is a Board Member for Gulf South Men and serves on the Action Team for The Kingdom Group. He is a volunteer for the Walk to Emmaus, Grace Camp, and Iron Sharpens Iron. Todd resides in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
We welcome your comments below.
Liked this post?
Read more below or search for more topics...
Meal Time is Ministry Time “When He was at the table with them, He took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them” (Luke 24:30 NIV). Many people have the false notion that ministry only occurs inside the walls of the local church. The truth is we go to worship on Sunday to be fed the Word so that we can be the hands and feet of Christ – to feed others. However, it should be noted that we need to feed ourselves throughout the week by reading Scripture, prayer and meditation, and small groups. We are all ministers. We...
Finding Joy While Suffering “God lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; He set my feet on a rockand gave me a firm place to stand” (Psalm 40:2 NIV).One of the more common questions from Christians is about suffering. Why does a God that loves us as His own children allow suffering? Perhaps the greatest challenge to our faith is to understand pain and suffering. Many people point to the Book of Job to understand suffering. God did not cause Job’s suffering but allowed the devil to cause suffering. Job was tempted and tested. Job struggled...
The Great Question: Where Is God? "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control" (Galatians 5:22-23 NIV, emphasis added). The Bible teaches us that self-control is essential to living a Christian life. We must exercise our self-control or we become controlled by our weakness. Our weakness may be food, alcohol, drugs, pornography, etc. The enemy knows our weakness better than we do ourselves and will encourage us to go to it rather than God in times of need. Our lives can soon be dominated by our weakness and we are living completely in...