by Rick Warren — February 12, 2020
“Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God” (Romans 15:7 NIV).
God accepts you unconditionally. That doesn’t mean he approves of everything you do, but he accepts you, no matter what you’ve done. And God says he wants you to act similarly toward everybody in your life.
The highest form of love is focused attention. One of the ways you demonstrate acceptance to other people is to look at them and listen to them. When you look someone in the eye, you’re declaring that they matter to you.
Love looks, and love listens. When somebody comes in and drops something off at your desk, do you say anything to them? When somebody serves you something at a restaurant or a clerk helps you in a grocery store, do you look them in the eye and say, “Thank you”? It may seem like a small thing. But when you give someone your attention, even for just a moment, you are affirming their value as a person and showing that you accept them.
The Bible says in Romans 15:1, “We must bear the ‘burden’ of being considerate of the doubts and fears of others” (TLB).
Acceptance means you listen to others’ fears and doubts. We all have them! When people have doubts about God, you need to first listen and show that it doesn’t change your love or acceptance. Why? Because this is how God loves us. When we doubt, God’s love does not change. When we are fearful and unwilling to trust, God still accepts us. This is how he wants us to love people.
Loving like Jesus means you accept other people the way Jesus accepts you. And when his love flows through you, it’s possible for you to love others unconditionally.