When core values become deeply ingrained principles they guide behavior as well as the decisions and actions of the organization.  Acceptance is a core value at Pine Shores. The 3 behaviors that reflect acceptance are respecting others, being for others and welcoming others.  All point to living the more excellent way.  We believe these 3 behaviors are related   “Respect” is the precursor. It comes first.  Respect has to be in us, a part of us, because without the desire or belief that respect is possible we won’t pursue it.  It will be someone else’s value and not ours.

“Being for” is the advocacy dimension of acceptance.  The etymology of advocacy is “one called to aid” – to be a “champion.”  How great is that. We are champions for others. Advocacy is the intentional promotion of another, or cause, or principle. It involves actions that lead toward a goal in which we use our very best to achieve it.  We declare boldly and often that God is for us. The invitation is to embrace our call to be for others in the same way that God is for us.

“Welcoming” others is the personal element of acceptance.  It’s the up close part of acceptance. It’s the handshake that closes the deal.  The nod we give to the other. The gesture that says come here you are safe. It is the opening up of head, heart and home to receive and relate with others – no longer as a stranger but rather as scripture says as a friend.

Acceptance begins with desire and belief.  It’s heard in the words of the advocate and it is manifested in the activity of welcome. Acceptance is a value that is core for God’s people.

Scripture Reading:  Romans 2:11, 8:31 & 15:7
For God shows no partiality
What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us,
who is against us?

Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you,
for the glory of God

Reflection Questions:
How is God for you?
How do you use your voice for others?
What does a welcoming Spirit look like and who in your life has one?

Prayer: Holy God, let me continue to pursue your path.  Help me to be open and attentive to your voice, listening for wisdom and responding in faithful ways. Open my heart and head to those who need a voice and a friend. Amen.


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