Summary: Find out the keys to accepting others in this message on the "woman caught in adultery."
How to Accept Others
While waiting at the airport terminal for her plane to begin boarding, a woman sat reading a newspaper. Earlier, she had purchased a package of cookies in the airport snack shop to eat after she got on the plane. Out of the corner of her eye, she noticed that the man sitting next to her was eating a cookie. She looked down and noticed that her package of cookies had been opened and the man was eating them.
The woman couldn’t believe that the man would have such nerve as to eat her cookies. So that she wouldn’t lose all of her cookies to the man, she slowly reached over, took a cookie, and ate one herself. To her amazement, the man continued to eat more cookies. Getting more and more irritated, the woman removed all but one cookie from the package and ate them.
At that point, the man reached down and took the last cookie. Before eating it, though, he broke it in half and left half of the cookie for the woman. This made the woman so angry, she grabbed the empty package with the half cookie and crammed it in her purse.
Then, to her shock, she noticed that there in her purse was her unopened package of cookies.
Tonight we’re going to talk about “Dropping Rocks, How to Accept Others.” You see, sometimes we find it so easy to judge others, or cast the blame on somebody else, when the cold hard truth is that God wants us to accept others and love them for who they are. So, I want you to see four truths tonight that are going to put you on your way to being a better accepter. Let’s dig in. The first thing you need to do to accept others is open up.
II. Open Up
2 Corinthians 6:11-13 “11Dear, dear Corinthians, I can’t tell you how much I long for you to enter this wide-open, spacious life. 12We didn’t fence you in. The smallness you feel comes from within you. Your lives aren’t small, but you’re living them in a small way. 13I’m speaking as plainly as I can and with great affection. Open up your lives. Live openly and expansively!”
Paul had ministered to the Corinthians and he had been very open to them, sharing his thoughts and his life with them. But they hadn’t been quite as open to Paul. They kept secrets, they didn’t tell him completely what had been going on in their church. Paul notices and what’s his advice? OPEN UP! And we can take that same advice today.
It may not mean laying all our cards on the table and telling everybody everything, but it does mean, don’t shut anybody out. If a door is closed, no one can get in unless it is opened. Get Real is a door. It’s a door with only one handle. And that handle is on the inside. The door can only be opened from the inside, and unless it is opened, no one can get in. So, to accept others, first means you have to let them in.
We have to open up our “circle” and accept others. What does it mean to accept others?
Accept in this connotation means to receive willingly, or give admittance or approval to. Accept means to allow others to come into our group and shower them with love and affection. Do you remember the “amoeba” from a few weeks ago? An amoeba is basically a blob that absorbs anything it comes in contact with. And if our youth group is a good “amoeba,” it will absorb anybody into the group, and we’re not just talking about visitors. We’re talking about anybody that’s already a part of Get Real. Every piece will fit into the puzzle. Every person should be accepted by everyone else. Right now, people even in this room may feel like they’ve been shut out. But this can’t be. We have to Open Up and be willing to receive everybody. Ok, so once you Open Up, people can come in the door. The next thing you have to do to accept others is Don’t Be Hatin’. It’s really easy to find a fault in somebody. It’s a bit harder to look past the fault and love them anyway.
III. Don’t Be Hatin’
Matthew 7:1-5 “1"Stop judging others, and you will not be judged. 2For others will treat you as you treat them. Whatever measure you use in judging others, it will be used to measure how you are judged. 3And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? 4How can you think of saying, `Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? 5Hypocrite! First get rid of the log from your own eye; then perhaps you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.”