‘Acceptance is not Approval’


Change is inevitable.

We may like and embrace it. We may dislike it and try our best to avoid it.

Change for change sake is not necessarily good, but change that improves our lot surely is a good thing.

We hear this week of change that will benefit us. Moral change – conversion.

Jesus instigates a debate with the chief priest and elders – the ‘elite’:

I tell you solemnly, tax collectors and prostitutes are making their way into the kingdom of God before you (Matthew 21).

Tax collectors and prostitutes share much in common:

They are not accepted by people, and their patterns of behaviour are hard to break – verging on addiction. Both earn money in illicit and dishonest ways.

Jesus loved to dine with tax collectors, sinners and outcasts (Matthew 9), and from these encounters sinners changed their behaviour.


They had a profound experience of his love. Jesus accepted them, loved them, and challenged them.

This too should be our modus operandi as believers: To really accept people, to express tangibly our love for them, and to challenge them if needs be:

Acceptance is not approval.

Change is facilitated by this most important principle.



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