When my family and I first moved back to the states, we started looking around for a church to attend. We found one that suited us and I decided to meet with the pastor. For our first meeting I was going to put my best foot forward. Everyone wants to make a good first impression on the pastor, right?
I had thought very carefully ahead of time how I would steer the conversation, to paint myself is a good light, yet, when we met, I wound up doing the exact opposite! Every flaw, every bit of dirt came out onto the table. I was fully exposed. I remember, when I left I thought, “man, he is never going to want to talk to me again!” Much to my surprise, however, he did. We met quite frequently and became good friends.
My pastor learned every bad thing about me upfront. The first impression I gave him was not a good one, but he accepted me. Regardless of the mistakes I had made, the bad judgments, the skeletons in my closet, that pastor accepted me, just as I was.
Would that all Christians were that way! Can you imagine how effective we would be for Christ if we accepted one another, regardless of how different we are or how bad our pasts may be? If Christians would love each other regardless of the mistakes, bad judgments or skeletons in all our closets, the church would be a force to be reckoned with!
Why not make an effort to accept your brothers and sisters in Christ, regardless of their differences from you, just as Christ accepted you.