Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you. (Rom. 15:7)

WE VALUE INDEPENDENCE. We work hard to be unique. We strive to define ourselves as individuals. Most of us long to stand out from the crowd. That’s what’s valued in today’s culture. And so we’re always trying to demonstrate how we’re different from others, subtly better than others, even in the church. After all, I think I have this doctrine all figured out, or I’m on the cutting edge of that practice.

It’s jarring, then, to read how Paul urged his readers to have “one heart,” to speak with one mouth. That’s how we bring God glory.

“Well, that’s not really possible,” we might think, “because it’s important that people know that I differ from him or her in some important ways. I mean, these are not just trivial things. I would not want to get lumped in with . . .”

One heart. One mouth. Glorify God.

We should not kid ourselves that the differences and distinctions Paul’s readers had between themselves were somehow less significant than those we see between ourselves and others. Some kept the Law. Others did not. Some ate meat sacrificed to idols. Others did not.

One heart. One mouth. Glorify God.

Are there any of Paul’s instructions that have been so commonly disregarded as his instruction to accept one another just like Christ has accepted us (v. 7)? Who do you need to begin accepting today?

Pray for the grace to accept brothers and sisters in Christ who are different from you.

Kevin Scott is a pastor, acquisitions editor, and author of ReCreatable. He lives in Noblesville, Indiana, with his wife and three children.