"Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God." — Romans 15:7
Have you ever felt rejected when you wanted to belong? It can be very hurtful. God made us to be in relationship with one another. That's why the Heidelberg Catechism's answer to "What is your only comfort in life and in death?" is so powerful: "That I am not my own, but belong—body and soul, in life and in death—to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ." We desire acceptance and relationship. It's comforting to know Christ has accepted us. And by accepting one another as Christ did, we honor God.
But how well do we do at accepting one another? How well do we mirror Christ's love and acceptance? We know that we are called to become more like Jesus. But so often we build walls instead of breaking them down. And that's not Christlike.
God's Word leaves no room for superiority thinking. Believers are called to be accepting of one another with the standard set by Christ himself, realizing that there are the weak and the strong, the strugglers and the achievers. In our churches and our relationships, we've got to make sure that people experience acceptance. We show this by including them and accepting them as they are.
Accepting includes making others feel they belong. Those who confess "I belong to Jesus" know that they have been accepted by Christ. Will you accept them too?