Wisbit - May 2015
Accepting People As They Are
Some of us have an “inner judge” who notices when others don’t do what we think they should do. Maybe they’re not doing their “fair share” or not following through as promised or they’re promoting political policies that we dislike. What do we do with that “inner judge”? I’m on a learning curve of accepting people as they are. (I’m mindful that your journey might be different - that of speaking up - but I think this will still make sense!)
Here’s what my progress has looked like so far: I’m part of a group that highly values accepting others as they are, but I’ve noticed that group members aren’t very welcoming toward a certain person in the group who might be described as “socially disabled.”
Before I continue, let me assure you that accepting people as they are does not mean that we we agree with them, approve of their behavior, allow ourselves to be walked on, or pretend that their behavior is what is best for all. We still take appropriate actions to protect ourselves or others. In other words, we still maintain healthy boundaries.
Here’s what I’m learning.
I’m learning to create space for God’s glory to happen: “So accept each other just as Christ has accepted you; then God will be glorified” (Rom 15:7 New Living Translation).When God is glorified, God’s goodness, beauty, strength and power are made obvious. I was recently told that if we have respect for people as they are and come alongside them as equals in life, their behavior is more likely to change for the good.
And so I have remained in the group I mentioned above. God continues to use these flawed people (like me) to benefit me. Whether I benefit the others is largely dependent on my having an accepting and loving heart.
June 5-6: I’m exciting about giving Enneagram Training at Bel Air Presbyterian Church. I’ll talk about how we can get “unstuck” and make real progress in our life with God. our character can truly change and we can help others in the same way.
Grace and peace,
© Jan Johnson - For permission to reprint, http://janjohnson.org/reprints.html
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