So, the title was basically the only three words that start with ‘o’ I could think of right now. But I realized they are all related in an interesting way. They are all steps in a process of knowing and acceptance.
First, you have to be open. You have to be open with yourself, with God, and with others. Being open means being willing to be challenged and changed. You have to be able to identify who you are and how God created you and accept that it may be different than what you first thought or what you want. This is sometimes challenging because we put ourselves in boxes. We think that we have to be a certain way, and instead of actually asking ourselves who we are, we assume we must be a certain way. Being open is accepting that that may not be the case.
The second step is being ready for an opportunity. I realize I’m being very vague with my definitions, and I apologize. There are opportunities that we’re given to explore, to understand, and to reveal ourselves to others, and the only way to grow in deeper relationship is to seize these opportunities of vulnerability. I’m a firm believer in the fact that we’re given opportunities to share and I’m also a firm believer in the fact that when the opportunity is given, one should take hold of it. I think great growth come from these opportunities.
Lastly, you are either ostracized or accepted. You are either accepted and loved for who you are, or you are ostracized and isolated. I struggle with this because I’ve experienced both, which I’m sure you have as well. I struggle because acceptance especially in the current Christian culture is becoming synonymous with the truth or ‘standards’ by which Christians are supposed to live. In order for us as Christians to accept you, you have to live a certain way, and if you don’t live that way, then we can’t accept you. We’re forced to love you and hate your sin. But in reality, as I’ve learned, there is no Christian “type”. God has made us all differently, we all have different strengths, we all have different weaknesses, and we all react to situations differently. Yes, there is sin, but we are innately sinful. So how can we as sinful beings decide what is the sin and what is the fruit? I’m wary of my ability to judge people and decide who’s life is sinful and who’s life is not. In fact, I am pretty certain I am incapable of having any say in who’s life is sinful. All I know is we are all sinful, including myself. There is no man or woman out there who is anymore sinful than me, for my sin is just as bad as any other sinners out there. The only thing I am certain of is that Christ died for me, and has obliterated my sin with his shed blood on my behalf. I have no right to ostracize anyone, and I mean anyone by telling them that I can’t support the way they live because I, a sinful, broken, selfish being be