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Accepted As You Are

Trevor Hudson

Henri J. M. Nouwen writes that one of the greatest enemies to the spiritual life is self-rejection. Many of us struggle to know that we are accepted exactly as we are. We have a picture of God deep in our hearts that tells us we are unacceptable unless we jump through certain hoops, meet certain requirements, and fulfill certain demands.

The other day while I was walking through the parking lot of my church, a parishioner approached me and said, “Trevor, I have just been through a divorce. Am I still acceptable to God?” I could hear the anguish in her voice.

How many of us wonder if we are acceptable to God because of who we are, what we’ve done, or what we’ve been through? Jesus in his encounter with Matthew [Matthew 9:9] disproves the idea that God offers only conditional acceptance. We must hear in the depths of our spirits Christ’s whisper, “You are accepted as you are.” When we hear these gospel words, we are able—often for the first time in our lives—to accept and love ourselves. When we hear the words of God’s unconditional acceptance, we can embrace the darker and more destructive parts of our lives that we tend to sweep under the rug. It is when we hear these words of acceptance that we can embrace the shadowy sides of our lives and bring them to God because we know we will be accepted as we are. At this point, real change and transformation begins—when we hear Jesus’ words of acceptance, we no longer have to pretend.

—From page 35 of Invitations of Jesus by Trevor Hudson. Copyright © 2014 by Trevor Hudson. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books.

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