Sunday, July 1
Finding Peace through Acceptance
Narrative Lectionary Daily Devotions written by Kace Leetch from Clergy Stuff.
We know we are all sinners. We’ve been told our whole lives by parents, teachers, pastors, bosses, friends, children. There are always plenty of people around to point out our faults. But if we’re being honest, most of us resist the truth when it’s pointed out to us. We go into our defensive modes, rejecting the criticism and rushing to defend our honor, integrity, and honesty. But our defensiveness works against us, keeping from seeing the truth about ourselves, and taking steps to improve.
For much of my adult life, I had horrible bosses. It seemed at every job I ever had, my bosses were unreasonable, critical, stubborn, and clueless. Finally, I decided to work for myself. And I still hated my boss.
It was a hard lesson to learn, but I soon realized the common denominator in my life-long boss problem was me. The discovery was one of those life-changing experiences—the kind that sends you in to a deep depression as you realize all your problems are self-inflicted. But the realization also came with an opportunity to accept what was, to learn and grow from it, and to come out the other side a much more grounded, wise, peaceful person than I ever thought possible. Now I love my boss (me, of course), with all her missteps and failings, her creativity and innovation.
I never would have grown without the first step—acceptance. It’s a humbling and challenging experience to take an honest look deep inside yourself, admit your faults, accept them, and then look for ways to forgive yourself and to change your ways. It’s quite a journey, and it’s a journey with no final destination. But it’s a necessary journey if you want to become your most authentic self.
Jesus knew this to be true. He didn’t set out to beat us down for our sin. He came to help us grow in our awareness of ourselves and our behaviors. Through our self-awareness we become more compassionate, patient, nurturing, and loving toward ourselves and others.
Narrative Lectionary Text: 1 John 1:5-2:2
This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him while we are walking in darkness, we lie and do not do what is true; but if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and he is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.