Acceptance Does Not Require Approval
By Rick Warren
“Accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory” (Romans 15:7 NLT, second edition).
Did you know that every time you show love, it gives glory to God? Because God is love, and glory is revealing what God is really like.
God says, “I am loving. I am compassionate. I want you to be like me. I want you to develop my character.” You’re never going to be God. You’re never even going to be a teeny-tiny God. But God says he wants you to become godly. He wants you to develop his character. Like father like son, like father like daughter. He wants you to learn to love people the way he loves people. God is love.
Every time you do that, it shows God’s glory.
Of course, one of the ways you love others is just by accepting them. Just because you don’t like what people do doesn’t mean you can’t accept them.
Do you understand the difference between acceptance and approval? You can accept someone without approving of everything that person does. There is a big difference! We are to accept everybody; we are not to approve everything everybody does. So no matter what people do or who they do it with or how they do it, or how long they do it, you are to love them. You are to accept them. It does not mean that you approve of what they do. God loves you, but it doesn’t mean he approves of everything you do.
Love is not saying I approve of everything you do. Love is saying I accept you in spite of what you do.
Romans 15:7 says, “Accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory” (NLT, second edition).
Talk It Over
- Who do you need to accept in your life, even if you don’t approve of what that person believes or does?
- In what areas of culture is acceptance a seemingly tricky issue for Christians?
- What are some practical ways you can show acceptance and love to people, especially the ones the world expects you to turn away from because of what they believe or do?
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