You Can Join Us If . . .

Christine Duncan, 24

I sat at dinner, surrounded by the chatter of friends and acquaintances. I looked up when a voice spoke past me to my friend Sarah: “Hey, Sarah, are you going to Zoe’s goodbye party tonite?”

“No, I wasn’t invited.”

“Oh, she wouldn’t care. You know everyone there.”

“I don’t know—”

“I wouldn’t care if people came uninvited to my goodbye party as long as they weren’t awkward.”

As long as they weren’t — oh, wait — me? I wondered.

Was her comment mean? I wasn’t told, “Christine, you are awkward, so you can’t come.” This girl didn’t intend to make me feel bad; but she implied that awkward people, people who get nervous in social settings or have to work harder to learn social skills, are not welcome.

Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.
Romans 15:7 (NIV)

She had mentioned a trait I possess. But even if she had said, “As long as they weren’t brunette, a genius, a jock, a hippie, a jerk,” the comment still would have created an atmosphere of conditional acceptance. How I wish we could all learn to love and accept others as Christ does.


THINK ABOUT IT: What have you said that implies that certain people are not acceptable? When have you heard that you are not welcome? Does your conversation convey that all people are God’s handiwork? If not, ask God to help you learn acceptance.


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