March 4

Written by Bill Grandi on March 4th, 2021

Several years ago-around 2006/2007-I read a book which changed my perspective on people. More specifically, on how I saw people and reached out to them.

In retrospect, I have always “prided” myself in accepting people as they were. You know, like the old song says, “Just as I am without one plea…” My thinking was if God could accept me as I am/was then surely I could do the same. And I thought I did. But I was stopped in my tracks and forced to reevaluate my ways and actions.

The book was NO Perfect People Allowed by John Burke, a pastor of a church in Austin, TX. And while I now realize some of it was the attractional church message, some of it was on the money. People can’t be expected to change before accepting the Gospel message.

Jesus never did that. He didn’t tell the woman at the well to get her act together, leave her current live in, before He would talk with her and give her hope. He didn’t tell the woman caught in adultery to “Repent sinner!” before He came to her defense and then sent her away a free and forgiven woman. He went to Zacchaeus’ house to eat without demanding a life change. That came after his encounter with Jesus. The same goes for all He came in contact with (except maybe the arrogant, self-righteous Pharisees).

No, when Jesus exhibited “Come as you are” it was genuine and sincere. Can I do any less? Do I expect people to change first or do I accept and let God change them? The latter is preferable.

“Father, You accepted me as I was and am. Can I do any less? Please teach me and help me to do as You have done for me and countless others.”


6 Comments so far ↓

  1. Ryan S says:

    Your prayer is spot on… Too easy to apply my expectations to others. The danger in applying expectations is that we all are varied in our journey toward Christ.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      You are right on both counts Ryan. Too easy to apply my expectations to others and we are all varied in our journey.

  2. It was precisely because of Jesus’ extension of grace to the broken that they chose to follow Him. Yes, Bill, we should do nothing less.

  3. Ed Damas says:

    As the old saying goes: I stopped praying for God to change people, and started praying for God to change me.

    Still a work in progress….