How do I learn to accept those who are different from me? - Acceptance - TouchPoints

How do I learn to accept those who are different from me?

Deuteronomy 10:18-19He ensures that orphans and widows receive justice. He shows love to the foreigners living among you and gives them food and clothing. [19] So you, too, must show love to foreigners, for you yourselves were once foreigners in the land of Egypt.So you, too, must show love to foreigners, for you yourselves were once foreigners in the land of Egypt.

Hebrews 13:2Don't forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it!

Matthew 25:35For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home.

Almost everyone has had a time where they felt like an outsider and were uncertain about how to adjust. Almost everyone has had a time where they needed help, but were too embarrassed to ask. When we seek the humanity in everyone we meet, treating them with kindness and dignity, we show love and respect to the One who made them.

Matthew 9:11-12But when the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, "Why does your teacher eat with such scum?" [12] When Jesus heard this, he said, "Healthy people don't need a doctor-sick people do."But when the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with such scum?” When Jesus heard this, he said, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do.”

Luke 19:2, 5-10There was a man there named Zacchaeus. He was the chief tax collector in the region, and he had become very rich. [5] When Jesus came by, he looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name. "Zacchaeus!" he said. "Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today." [6] Zacchaeus quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy. [7] But the people were displeased. "He has gone to be the guest of a notorious sinner," they grumbled. [8] Meanwhile, Zacchaeus stood before the Lord and said, "I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have cheated people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!" [9] Jesus responded, "Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham. [10] For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost."

Matthew 8:2-3Suddenly, a man with leprosy approached him and knelt before him. "Lord," the man said, "if you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean." [3] Jesus reached out and touched him. "I am willing," he said. "Be healed!" And instantly the leprosy disappeared.

In Jesus’ day, prostitutes, tax collectors, and lepers were some of the least acceptable people around. Prostitutes made money off of sexual sin. Tax collectors like Zacchaeus not only worked for the Roman conquerors, but they cheated people and collected extra money for themselves. Lepers were disgusting—their disease cause their bodies to literally rot apart—and the disease was contagious, so they had to live on the outskirts of society. Yet Jesus knew these people who evoked such disgust were some of the people who most recognized their need for his message. In fact, one of those people—a tax collector called Matthew—deserves our thanks for writing much of what we know about Jesus. We may not like where people come from, what they’ve done, or how they act, but like Jesus, we can recognize the glorious potential inside each and every person.

Revelation 7:9-10After this I saw a vast crowd, too great to count, from every nation and tribe and people and language, standing in front of the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white robes and held palm branches in their hands. [10] And they were shouting with a great roar, "Salvation comes from our God who sits on the throne and from the Lamb!"

Galatians 3:28

Acts 10:34Then Peter replied, "I see very clearly that God shows no favoritism.Then Peter replied, “I see very clearly that God shows no favoritism.

Romans 15:7Therefore, accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory.Therefore, accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory.

God calls all kinds to become part of the body of Christ. The unity of that body is crucial to its witness to the world. Though our differences are real, and sometimes deserve discussion, those differences should never overshadow the central unity of our identity in Christ.