Accept others as they simply are, because God accepted you just like you are!
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this, all men will know that you are my disciples if you love one another.” John 13:34
Love is what distinguishes you from other people if you are a follower of Christ. To their amazement, just before the Passover Feast, Jesus got up from the supper, laid aside His outer garments, and wrapped a towel around His waist. Then He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciple’s feet and dry them with the towel that was around Him. They, especially Peter, were unwilling to let Jesus wash his dirty feet. Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” Of course, there were rich meanings in His reply.
After washing all their feet, Jesus predicted the one who is going to betray him and singled him and asked him to go and do what he was about to do. It is mind-boggling to remember Jesus even washed the feet of Judas Iscariot. However, the deep, deep love of Jesus did not change his mind. It never did although he was with Jesus for a long time. Jesus said he knew who He has chosen mentioning Judas was not chosen from the very beginning.
After these incidents, Jesus said to the disciples, Little children, I am with you only a little while longer… a new commandment I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so also you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples if you love one another.” The key is “as I have loved you”. The pattern to adopt is the love of Jesus.
Beloved, as a follower of Christ, you cannot pick and choose whom you would love. A true believer in Jesus must love all people regardless of who they are. You must not short circuit love based on color, look, race, nationality, family status, social status, sexual status, or anything else period!
Beloved, if you start loving all people with no distinction, value and appreciate them very highly, then you will experience a divine and dramatic change in yourself first. The only way they will recognize you belong to Christ is by your unconditional, indiscriminative love for all people everywhere.
You see, to love like this, you need to accept others as they simply are because God accepted you just like you are. Genesis 1:27 says, “God created all mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” You must see God’s image in every person to accept and honor no matter what condition they are in. The Bible reminds us in Romans 5 that God loved us when we were enemies to Him. He took the first step to reconcile us to Him through the death of His Son. God loved us when were powerless and sinners. Christ died for us when we were helpless. Listen to what is true love. 1st John 4:10 says, “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”
Therefore, you do not have a choice. A follower of Christ must love all people regardless of their backgrounds. When you and I accept people and love them with no strings attached, Jesus promised, “all men will know that you are my disciples.” The acid test of a true Christian is his or her love for all people.
I know it is not an easy task. In your human nature, you can not do it. However, when you understand God loves the unworthy and proved His love by sending His Son to die in your place for all of your sins, you would be curious to know more about it. You would come to His Son and accept Him as your savior and Lord. That moment God makes you a new creation by granting His Holy Spirit to dwell inside you. This is how you are empowered for the task to love and care for the unworthy. A servant of God must accept, love, and care for all people with no distinction.
Got a moment for today’s prayer? “Father in heaven, I understand you accepted and loved me when I was helpless and unworthy for your divine love. You gave your Son, Jesus Christ, to die for my sins. You put my sins and shortcomings on the body of Jesus and saved me from the power and consequences of sin. Now help me to love, care for people regardless of their background. You set the example and said, as I have loved you, so must you love. Help me to do exactly that with the enablement of your Holy Spirit. In the name of Christ, I pray. Amen.”