“Therefore, accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory.” (Romans 15:7)
There is no easy way to say this, so I am just going to come right out and say it: as Christ-followers, we need to do a much better job at accepting others.
Recently, I had the privilege of meeting with a sweet friend who shared with me some hurts that she had hidden in a dark place of her heart for year and years and years. She had only shared these hurts with one other person and that person tore her up about it. What’s worse, this ‘friend’ then walked away from their friendship, neither accepting nor supporting her with her inner battle.
My friend was struggling. The enemy was whispering lies to her soul and she was desperately trying to silence them. She was reaching out in hopes of support and encouragement — but instead of either of those things, she walked away with compounded wounds.
Let me tell you something, friends. Every single one of us has struggles. Yes, that means you have struggles too. If someone is courageous enough to share their struggle with you— embrace them with love and grace. Notice I didn’t say to embrace their struggle —no, I plead with you to embrace your friend. Love her. Offer grace where shame and guilt are stealing away her joy. You don’t know when you’re going to need the same kind of love and grace.
We need to start acknowledging the absolute gift of being the hands and feet of Jesus for someone who is struggling. That doesn’t mean we need to BE Jesus. We simply need to call on the Holy Spirit and ask Him to guide our words and actions in the moments ahead. He already has a plan to bring healing to your friend— it is up to us to make ourselves available to be a part of His plan. And, if you can’t be part of His plan, you need to know that instead, you will be hindering it.
The enemy would love for us to keep our struggles hidden and in the dark. That is why it is so crucial that we are being sensitive to others if they choose to trust us with their vulnerability. When struggles are brought into the light they lose their power over us because we can see how little they are in comparison to God’s mercy and grace.
Do you have someone in your life that you need to be better at accepting? I urge you not to wait another day. Know that it is an absolute privilege to serve and honour God in this way, and then endeavour do so with everything you’ve got.
“As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions.” (Romans 14:1)