“The thing I love about Christianity is that it’s the one religion that basically says: you stink! Come on in!” This quote from comedian Brad Stine is actually quite true.
As Christians we know that when we accept Christ into our lives, we are loved and accepted despite our flaws or our pasts. But why is that? Why does God accept us no matter what and why do we seem to find it so hard to do the same to others?
“Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name. He gave the right to become children of God.” (John chapter 1, verse 12). As Christians we are children of God and He is our loving father. So he has unending and unconditional love for us, just like an earthly father.
However unlike an earthly father, His love never changes or fails no matter what we do or say. “ The Lord God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him. Daniel chapter 9 verse 9.”
But despite the constant love and forgiveness we humans receive, we seem to constantly fail to give that same love to others.
This is despite the fact that one of the 10 commandments requires us to do that very thing - “and the second commandment is like this. Love your neighbour as yourself.” (Matthew chapter 22, verse 39). But even though we as Christians know this, we fail to love and accept others the way God accepts us.
Because of this, the world is full of evil and sin, but unfortunately we Christians are just as bad as anyone else. We tend to label and condemn others for their pasts and their sins. Even though we are taught to love the sinner and hate the sin. This reminds me of my own experiences with Christians from different walks of life.
I grew up in up in a more traditional church that was not as progressive as the one I attend now. As a result, I often felt like you could only be welcomed and accepted if you dressed and behaved a certain way. I felt like you were only accepted if you came from the right family or background.
Nobody actually said those things, but the atmosphere often said what words didn’t. When I changed denominations and churches at the age of 23. I instantly felt loved and accepted and like anybody who walked through the doors was treated the same way.
My church is full of people from all walks of life and everyone loves them regardless. Because of this, it often saddens me when I hear of Christians or churches who fail to display God’s love and acceptance that he gives to all of his children. But what is the best way to explain who much God really loves and accepts us?
One of the best examples of how much God loves and accepts us is when he sent his son to die on the cross for us. At that time, we were still held under the burden of our sin and were unable to break free from its hold on our lives.
But when Jesus took our burdens and sin upon himself and died for us, He did away with evil and we were able to live freely as the ultimate sacrifice had already been made on our behalf.
“But God demonstrated his love for us in this. While we were still sinners Christ died for us.” (Romans chapter 5, verse 8). He died for all of us, knowing that we may not return that same love back to Him. There is no better example of love and acceptance than that.
So now is the time to reflect on God’s amazing love for us, and how we can do the same for others. After all, living like Jesus requires us to give the same acceptance to others that he gives to us
My name is Kate and I love gardening, exercising, and being involved with my church social groups. I have loved to write from a young age, and took up poetry as a teenager. I have recently got married and am enjoying getting used to married life.