Embraced by God – making space for others

By Dave Henning / December 25, 2017

“Having been embraced by God, we must make space for others in ourselves and invite them in.”- Miroslav Volf, Exclusion and Embrace

“Accept one another then, just as Christ has accepted you.”- Romans 15:7 9NIV)

In Chapter 11 (“This Time It’s Personal: Dealing with Acceptance and Rejection”) of I’d Like You More . . . , John Ortberg compares rejection and failure.  First, failure differs from rejection in that:

  • failure happens to your plans, while rejection happens to you
  • failure is personal and makes you withdraw

Also, rejection doesn’t paralyze you.  Rather, it’s your fear of rejection.  “No” is simply and answer.  Yet, “no” stings when it touches your fear or something else highly personal.

From birth, Pastor Ortberg explains, our survival hinges on acceptance.  Since this acceptance literally equates to a matter of life and death, we exquisitely attuned ourselves to any signs of rejection.

However, John stresses, shame results when condemnation embeds itself deeply enough in our psyche.  In other words, we internalize rejection.  And, Pastor Ortberg points out, condemnation consists of more than simply an observation about our condition.  It’s an observation combined with malice.

While guilt causes you to feel awful about what you’ve done, shame causes you to feel bad about who you are.  As a result, researcher Gershen Kaufman underscores, “shame is without parallel  a sickness of the soul . . . a violation of our essential dignity.”

The good news, Pastor Ortberg exhorts, is that there is healing.  But, like the woman at the well, healing only comes when we find an “acceptance greater than our greatest rejection.”

Today’s question: What Bible verses help you accept the phrase “embraced by God”?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Acceptance digs wells”

About the author

Dave Henning

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