HOLY HERETIC DEVOTIONAL- Sept. 7, 2016-ACCEPTANCE
Compiled by Holy Heretic Benjamin Foster
“The first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance.” –Nathaniel Branden
There are many different types of acceptance, acceptance of circumstance, acceptance of self, acceptance of others, the ways of acceptance go on and on. Acceptance is a basic tenant of not only Christianity but of a multitude of different religions such as Islam, Buddhism, and Judaism that, unfortunately, is either excused from being put into practice for one misguided reason or another or is simply dropped from religious observances all together without explanation. It is my belief that acceptance is one of the most important traits that we should cultivate in our walk with God and this has been proven to me time and again through study and real life experience.
Perhaps the greatest example we find of acceptance in the bible occurs when Jesus, a Jew, meets a Samaritan woman alone at a well in Samaria. Drawing water was the social occasion of the day and the fact that this woman came alone alludes to her having been left out and ostracized by her own people. We learn on down in the text that this is because of her reputation. Generally Jews despised Samaritans as they believed they had no claim to God, yet Jesus asks the woman for a drink, leaving her astonished a Jew would even speak to her especially given her status among her own people. Jesus goes on to not only use the water as a metaphor to witness to the woman about God, but to tell her he is aware of the sins she has committed and presents her with a testimony of the all forgiving grace of God and a call to action.
In doing these things Jesus presents us with a multitude of valuable lessons. First, Jesus’ actions here show us that despite our disagreements with anyone’s way of thinking or lifestyle, we are to speak and witness to them with love. Secondly this story shows us that through acceptance we can show people the peace and love to be found when they begin on their path with God. In our own everyday lives it’s easy to become disenchanted and disillusioned when faced with things or ideas that aren’t so simple to accept. Remember the woman at the well when you confront these things and how Jesus initiated conversation, accepted her differences and bad decisions, and went on to witness to her about the glory and forgiveness of the grace of God.
Today’s Action: Examine yourself and your own level of acceptance for different things. Take proactive steps in learning to accept whatever it is you’re struggling to accept. Try different tactics such as meditation, prayer, and study and conjoin techniques when you find something that works for you.
Today’s Sharing: Share how you’ve been able to overcome and learn to accept things with which you may have once struggled. Please comment on our Facebook page: https://m.facebook.com/HolyHereticZine
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