Acceptance is not Approval

“Accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory”  (Romans 15:7 NLT).

Acceptance is not Approval

The blood of Jesus provides us the opportunity for forgiveness of our sins.  Our sins will be cast as far as the east is from the west once we earnestly repent and ask His forgiveness.   However, our society has slowly tried to redefine what is and is not a sin.  In the political world, these are known as wedge issues that force people to one side or the other.  By design, there is no common ground.   Similarly, the enemy seeks to find issues to divide us because he knows we are weaker when divided.

Some people living a non-repented sinful life want the Body of Christ to categorize their sin as acceptable.  The exact type of sin is not necessarily as important as its reclassification.  The goal is to allow the sin to become acceptable and label those that do not approve as intolerant.

I have a friend living in a sinful manner with no desire to change.  I do not feel it is my place to judge him.  However, I do feel it is my place to love him.  I know that by showing him love, I am giving glory to God.  I know that God is love and great glory comes from revealing God to others without judgment.  I have my own sins so I am in no place to judge anybody else, but I can and do offer intercessory prayers for my friend.  I hope he prays for me too!

You can show love to others just by accepting them. Just because you don’t like what people do doesn’t mean you can’t accept them.  I think that non-repented sinner need our love and acceptance the most.  Jesus said in Luke 5:32, “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” 

Most of us are familiar with the story of Jesus encountering a woman accused of adultery in John 8.  The men left after Jesus told them that whoever is without sin should cast the first stone.  I feel that Jesus was indicating that if you are without sin, then by definition you must be God, and as such you are free to render judgment.  His last words to her were, “Neither do I condemn thee:  go, and sin no more (John 8:11).”  Our Lord had every right to offer judgment, instead offered mercy and grace.  It is critical that we all recognize that He did not condone the sin and instructed her to “sin no more.”

Jesus was modeling for us the difference between acceptance and approval. We can accept people without approving of everything they do.  We are called to accept everybody; we are not called to approve of everything everybody does.  God loves us, but it doesn’t mean He approves of everything we do.  Love is not saying I approve of everything you do.  Love is saying I accept you in spite of what you do.

Prayer:  Dear God, Thank you for the unconditional love you bestow upon your children.  Help us to show that love to everyone we meet.  You are our sovereign God, and we trust in you and you alone. 

Meet the Author

Todd Shupe is a Men’s Ministry Specialist through the General Commission of United Methodist Men and is in training to be a Certified Lay Minister through the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church. He currently serves as the President of the Baton Rouge District of United Methodist Men and is a Board Member for Gulf South Men and serves on the Action Team for The Kingdom Group. He is a volunteer for the Walk to Emmaus, Grace Camp, and Iron Sharpens Iron. Todd resides in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

We welcome your comments below.

Thank you for visiting. We trust that you have enjoyed reading our articles.

Liked this post?

Read more below or search for more topics...

  • “Four Ways To Turn Father’s Day Into A Celebration Of The Selfless Service Men Do Daily”

    “Four Ways To Turn Father’s Day Into A Celebration Of The Selfless Service Men Do Daily” While we’d rather see more than one day per year dedicated to recognizing the fathers in all our lives, we’ll take one and seize upon it for now.With Father’s Day just around the corner, now’s the time to start planning the best ways to mark the occasion. From family outings to intimate sit-downs with like-minded family and friends, Father’s Day is a chance to show respect, appreciation and utmost gratitude for the sacrifices our fathers have made throughout their lives and ours to better our quality...
  • The Traits Of True Leadership

    The Traits Of True Leadership "Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant" (Matthew 20:26 NIV).If you are like me, you have seen several books on leadership. The books are typically authored by successful CEOs of large companies or military leaders. These books are often best-sellers and contain very useful information on the principles of secular leadership. The themes are typically along the lines of this: A leader is a visionary. A leader knows how to delegate. A leader surrounds himself/herself with good people. A leader leads by example. A leader is trustworthy....
  • Why Did Jesus Cry Before Raising Lazarus?

    Why Did Jesus Cry Before Raising Lazarus? Scripture: “When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.”  Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.  So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days, and then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.”  (John 11:4-7). One of the most fascinating Biblical stories is the raising of Lazarus as described in John 11.  Many of us learned this story as children in Sunday school.  It is...