Thursday, December 01, 2016
“Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to him. And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, “This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.” ~Luke 15:1,2, NRSV
Acceptance is affirming the infinite worth of another person, no matter what he or she has done. In this context, accepting doesn't mean we agree with a person's poor choices or endorse their ideas, but it does mean we respect the dignity and value of another human being.
A favorite tactic of schoolteachers is to make two boys who have been fighting work on a job- just the two of them. What often happens as a result? The fighters become friends. By working closely together they begin to see a new side to the other person. They learn to settle their differences and work together in peace.
“Judge not, that you be not judged.” ~Matthew 7:1
Nothing devastates love more than a critical spirit. In fact, Jesus directed His most scathing attacks at the critics. Jesus came to build His kingdom on the foundation of strong, loving relationships. He knew a critical attitude would damage relationships and ultimately destroy them. That's why we are told not to judge but to discern: “Those who are spiritual discern all things” (1 Corinthians 2:15, NRSV).
You may be wondering, “What's the difference?” Think of it this way: Judging evaluates the actor; discerning evaluates the action.
All of us carry incomplete knowledge about others. This realization should fill us with humility and compassion in all of our interactions.
“Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are.” ~Romans 12:16, NRSV
For more information, see our CREATION Health Bible Program.