My6inchchallenge's Blog

Tackling difficulties and overcoming the challenges life serves up – by Dona Halliday

Archive for acceptance

It’s time to accept those who are different

“I’d have to change my response to the wedding vows from ‘I will’ to ‘I’ll do my best with God’s help’.” That did not go over very well with the minister and his wife with whom I was having this conversation. It was years ago, I don’t even recall why we were talking about this, but my response had greatly offended him and his response had not hidden that fact.

It keeps amazing me that people can seem to be getting along so well, yet offenses, misunderstandings, differences and disagreements can not only divide us, but cause an end to relationships, or even worst, cause people to make enemies of each other.

Time teaches that differences/disagreements/etc are normal happenings in life. However, I think the greater lesson is that our responses can paint very accurate pictures of where we are at various stages, and therefore can be the impetus for personal growth.

The idea of standing before God and saying, “I will,” to me meant writing a blank cheque of commitment to someone as we stepped in an unknown future, and it filled me with terror. Yet, in “Meeting God at Every Turn” as I read Philip Lader’s vow to Linda Ann LeSourd (Catherine Marshall’s stepdaughter), something within me exhaled and I finally got it.

Part of Philip’s beautifully written vow read, “…the “I will” said today is not so much fact accomplished, as responsibility assumed… you and I are commissioned by this wedding to make God’s love believable to the world. By His grace however, we have different gifts, and these beg quarrels. When frustrated by your tenacity of opinion, I shall not waive my own, but shall honestly and patiently seek resolution…”

When I think of how different we are — we can respond to conflicts, successes, challenges, pain, disagreements and even pleasure differently. Even if we’ve been raised in the same household we can still respond to life in very different ways. I believe our differences were meant to be complementary and not used as reasons for division.

However, as we live out life in its varying arenas – relational, religious, political, etc. “making God’s love believable to the world” still seems the most difficult thing for us to do?

In Acts chapter 10 Peter was being transformed by God’s lesson on acceptance. In a vision, as Peter dismissed the very idea of eating or being involved in any way with “unacceptable” things transformation took place when he exchanged his way of seeing things for God’s way.  It was time for the hostility between Jews and Gentiles to be faced, for hearts to be opened and for arms to be extended in love to the unacceptable.

God’s purpose has not changed, his reconciling love has always been extended to the whosoever – no matter how wide the cultural or ethnic divide. His heart has not changed, He still desires that ALL persons be brought into an intimate relationship with Him.

Acceptance becomes easier, I believe, when we realize that we would have been included with those who were condemned as unacceptable. Unacceptable, but for God’s grace and His command of not calling anything impure (unacceptable) that He had made clean.

As we represent Christ, His love, grace, mercy & forgiveness have to be the guide to our interactions with the “different” people in our world. His love has to touch those who have been destined to walk in the reach of His light that shines through us, and His acceptance of the whosoever has to be the standard by which we measure our acceptance of others.


Was God Not Paying Attention When He Made Me?

Learning to love ourselves is a journey we must all take.

I love my kinky curly hair!

Was God not paying attention when he made us? That was the question I raised when I delivered my speech at my Toast Master’s club on Monday evening. I wanted us, African-American women to take a close look at ourselves and continue the journey of learning to love those things that make us unique.

I realize, however, that it’s not only us who struggle with self acceptance, but women in general seem to have this destructive, negative, internal talk that makes it difficult for us to sometimes accept and love what we see in the mirror. How can we guard against passing this negativity down to our little girls?

Those thoughts inspired this short poem:

I love being me!

I love this skin that I’m in,
I love the crown that I wear,
I love the shape of my face
Beneath my kinky curly hair.
I love the size of my lips,
I love the spread of my nose,
I won’t trade any part of me,
Not for those, those, or even those.

I love the way that I curve,
I love my poise and my pose,
I love my entire body,
With and without clothes.
I love the shape of my legs,
I love my wide-width feet,
I don’t care if I’m not skinny,
If I’m not petite.

I love being me!
I hope you love being you,
Those who want to change us,
Don’t even have a clue,
Inferiority and insecurity,
Won’t find a lodging place,
For we are wrapped in His beauty,
And covered by His grace.

I love being me!
Do you love being you?
Can you recognize your beauty?
It’s right there in front of you,
Should God have really formed me,
the same way He formed you,
As though He lacked originality
and creativity?

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