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

God is the Creator of all things. It is one thing not to give Him any credit for His creation. It’s quite another to give Him credit but despise some of his creation – which happens when we reject each other.

Acceptance is no easy thing, and it starts with accepting oneself. Accepting myself has been a work in progress for me. I have realized that it is impossible to get close to other people without accepting myself. Self-acceptance is well-worth our attention since it enables us to accept others too. All good relationships are built on mutual acceptance and trust.

So, let’s take a closer look at self-acceptance. How have you liked yourself lately? How have you treated yourself recently? And what do you think of yourself secretly? Believe me: what you think of yourself is no secret. It’s more of an open secret. People can see it in your eyes, in your demeanor. It’s often the first impression people get when they see you walking up to them. So, you can hide a million skeletons in your closet, but you can’t really hide the fact whether or not you like yourself.

Accepting yourself comes before liking yourself.

It’s a funny thing that very young children, before they become self-conscious and self-aware, instinctively like themselves. I remember as a kid how much I liked that I was born a girl. “Girls are so much prettier than boys”, I thought, “I’m so glad I’m a girl!” Well, this innocent confidence was gone by the time I shifted into my teenage years. As a budding teenager I questioned the status quo – that’s what all teenagers do – and I also questioned myself, but not in a good way. Unfortunately, it took most of my adulthood years to snap out of a rather negative self-assessment. Self-critique is pointless if it has only one purpose in mind: to put oneself down.

Christ does not put us down. He lifts us up. He has created us – why would He not love His own creation? He loves who we are. We can find out who we are when we get to know Him. I can say that I have found myself in Christ. He has accepted me, and through Him I have learned to accept myself and others. That’s a blessing to the world – and I’m sure it makes God smile.