Everyone longs for acceptance and love in life. To be accepted just as you are and to belong somewhere. And each of us certainly knows the feeling of being excluded, of not really being accepted in a group or community, or even of being rejected. Those who have had the experience in childhood of not being accepted due to their mistakes and weaknesses, of having to achieve something in order to get recognition or simply being excluded due to being different, these situations often shape their whole life.
The thought pattern of being an outsider is not easy to break. There is a way out, however. Everyone can have the experience to be loved unconditionally, to be accepted with all weaknesses and faults. Jesus invites all people to come to him just as they are. He promises:
“Whoever comes to me I will not be rejected or cast out.” John 6:37
Jesus does not judge our doing, thinking, or status. Everyone can come. God accepts us. Whoever accepts this invitation and comes to him, experiences acceptance and real belonging. Jesus himself took the first step towards us humans. He came to earth as a human being to be close to us and to reconcile us with God the Father. Whoever comes to Jesus and believes that he is the way to the Father, that he paid for our guilt and sin through his death, is accepted into eternal communion with God. God will not reject anyone who comes to him, no matter what the past is. Experiencing this unconditional love of God, helps to break through and let go of negative thought patterns. In addition, we can bring all of our injuries and experiences in which we felt excluded or rejected, to God. For this, too, Jesus died to relieve us of all burdens. He has already carried them on the cross. Jesus liberates and fills our hearts with his love and acceptance.
God’s love also helps us to forgive and to take a step towards our fellow human beings, just as Jesus came to us. So we can see the other with God’s eyes.
“Therefore accept one another, just as Christ accepted you, that God may be honored!” Romans 15:17 NIV
“Dear brothers and sisters, we want to love one another, because love comes from God. Everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 He who does not love has not known God, because God is love. 9 God’s love for us is evident in the fact that he sent his only Son into the world to give us life in him. 10 Love is not because we loved God, but because he loved us and sent his Son as an atonement for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we too must love one another. 12 No one has ever seen him himself. But when we love one another, God lives in us, and his love has reached its goal in us. 13 We can tell that we live in him and he in us by the fact that he has given us a share in his spirit. 14 We have also seen with our own eyes and can testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 And if anyone confesses to Jesus as the Son of God, then God lives in him and he in God. 16 In any case, we have seen that God loves us; and we believe in his love. God is love, and whoever lives in love lives in God and God lives in him. 17 In this, too, love has come to its goal with us: We can look forward to the day of judgment with confidence, because just as Jesus is connected to the Father, we also live in this world. 18 There is no fear in love, for God’s perfect love removes all fear. Anyone who is still afraid expects to be punished. With him, love has not yet reached its goal. 19 But we love because he first loved us. 20 If someone says, “I love God!” But hates his brother or sister, he is a liar. Because if you don’t love your siblings, whom you can see, how can you love God, whom you have never seen? 21 Remember the commandment God gave us: He who loves God should also love his brothers and sisters. 1 John 4: 7-21 NIV