A Bad Attitude Can't Stop Me From Loving You

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

Recently a television show from the 80s, The A-Team, was remade into a movie. The show centered around three Vietnam vets wrongfully accused of a wartime crime who had been imprisoned, had escaped and became soldiers of fortune. They then traveled around the world righting injustices. I faithfully watched this show as a child and particularly found the character of B. A. Baracus intriguing. B. A. (Bad Attitude) Baracus was a burly bodybuilder who was quick with a punch and even quicker with an insult. While entertaining to watch, his character was not someone with whom I'd actually want to associate.

Today's passage is Romans 15:1-13. Paul has just completed a section about learning to listen to God on minor issues of the faith and bearing gently and graciously with others whose view may differ from my own. In these verses, Paul instructs us to bear with each other, maintain unity and accept each other. It may be just me but I personally encounter people who make B. A. Baracus look like he exudes warmth. And, honestly, some days that person is me. How is it possible to love someone like that?

This passage give two sweet assurances from God that give me hope that even I can love everyone from the prickly to the positive.
  • Jesus Carries My Insults Too (Verse 3) - Paul quotes Psalm 69:9 where it is written that Jesus redirects insults intended for me to His very own heart. When He bore our sins, He also bore our insults. What a vast, unfathomable love. He even wants to take the sting away from barbs intended to inflict hurt. Allowing Jesus to carry my insults makes loving others a far less painless path.
  • Jesus Accepts Me to Help Me Accept Others (Verse 7) - When I cried out to Jesus, He didn't respond with a 10 step program after the completion of which He'd accept my membership application. He accepted me just as I was. He in turn gives me the strength to accept others just as they are.

Thank you, Jesus, for your sweet gift of grace that allows me to love others. Whether it's bearing my insults or reminding me that You accepted me first, You give me exactly what I need to love. Even on days when I feel more like I have a Bad Attitude than a godly one, His grace is always enough.

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