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

Everyone wants to be accepted, whether in their own family, by friends or peers, even gang members. The need is so great some will go to extreme lengths for acceptance, perhaps not even realizing why they do certain things. Sometimes no matter what we do, we get rejected. It often starts when we’re little children and continues, unfortunately, into old age. Even though we know it’s going to happen, it always hurts.

Jesus experienced the ultimate rejection, and is intimately familiar with how it feels. Through humanity’s rejection of him all the way to death, he made the way for us to be accepted all the way to eternal life. In Christ, we are accepted no matter what. He never rejects us, especially when we’re down and hurting, and asks us to extend the same acceptance to others—to believers, who are our brothers and sisters, and to every single human being, who is made in the likeness of God and for whom Jesus died. Everyone is included in the love and acceptance of Christ.