“May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.”
Romans 15:5-7 NIV
If there is one area that we have all been challenged in, it is acceptance. Whether in school, at work, in sports, social gatherings, among family, even in church, we all have encountered the issue of acceptance.
Acceptance is something that everyone wants to have, but some act as if they don’t care about it, or don’t need it. Others seemingly demand it by being outgoing, extra, boisterous. They need to stand out to draw attention; They feed off of being the life of the party. They look for a response for gratification, and wear it proudly on their sleeves.
It is easy to get swept into our feelings and into the sense of a desire for acceptance. Many don’t just post things on social media and don’t desire to see who viewed it and how many comments and likes they received. We crave the acceptance and we tally it up. We even evaluate which kinds of posts will bring us an even greater following.
If not from people, we desire acceptance from animals, pets. We desire it from our environment, the places we go. We even desire it from the earth, the land and the sea. When we plant a seed we desire the land to accept it and we wait for a response by seeing the growth. When we go fishing, we desire for the fish to accept our bait and we will sit around for hours just hoping they would be fooled and take a bite.
We get such a deeply gratifying feeling from acceptance that we don’t even respond with gratitude anymore because it is so built into our nature that we expect acceptance because we know what responses our signals can and should produce, and when it doesn’t measure up to that expectation there is frustration, animosity, and negativity.
But acceptance is not a just a feeling of harmony where everyone is on the same song-sheet in one accord. Yay or Nay. There is a Melody that goes with Acceptance. When we put on the mind of Christ, we can begin to understand that the Acceptance the Bible talks about is achieved through Spiritual maturity. It is not a feeling but rather an attitude of the Mind of Christ that we are members of one body and we have need of each other.
The Bible says, in Philippians 2:5-6 KJV, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God”.
This means that if you have accepted Jesus as your Lord and savior and did not just stop there, but you proceeded to study his word and show yourself approved to him as one who is available to be used by him. You try your best, even if you fall short, to live your life with the guidance of the Lord, and you lay aside your will for his, then his mind is in you. And if his mind is in you then you have put on the form of Christ who lives in you and are therefore equal with him because he has given you his life in place of yours. And it is not robbery from who Christ is, because he lives in you, so that makes you an heir of God. We are sons and daughters of the most high. Christ has already risen and gone back to the father, but we have the Holy Spirit, and guess what, the Bible says that even the angels desire to look into what we have.
How humbling it is to know that while we are desiring acceptance from everything and everyone around us. Heaven desires our acceptance.
So we, Christ followers, his ambassadors in this world. When we mature enough to put on the mind of Christ, we are held responsible to accept each member of the body of Christ as well as to accept those who are not yet come to Christ so that we will bring Praise to God. We bring Praise to God as an offering to God for his acceptance.
The truth is, it is unrealistic to expect or seek acceptance and a unified mind from those who do not have the same mind, the Spirit mind, the mind of Christ.
We, the mature, the spirit led, the Children of God who is Love, are called TO accept one another, NOT to seek acceptance from each other. We seek acceptance from God. It is He who gives us endurance and encouragement to put aside our childish ways and walk in maturity, having the same attitude of mind towards each other that Christ had, so that with one mind and one voice we can bring Glory to God through the fruits of his spirit.
2 Timothy 2:15 AMP “Study and do your best to present yourself to God approved, a workman [tested by trial] who has no reason to be ashamed, accurately handling and skillfully teaching the word of truth. “
Romans 15:13-14 NIV “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. I myself am convinced, my brothers and sisters, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with knowledge and competent to instruct one another.”