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Acts 10:9-23 (NIV)
9 About noon the following day as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray. 10 He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. 11 He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. 12 It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles and birds. 13 Then a voice told him, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.” 14 “Surely not, Lord!” Peter replied. “I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.” 15 The voice spoke to him a second time, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.” 16 This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven. 17 While Peter was wondering about the meaning of the vision, the men sent by Cornelius found out where Simon’s house was and stopped at the gate. 18 They called out, asking if Simon who was known as Peter was staying there. 19 While Peter was still thinking about the vision, the Spirit said to him, “Simon, three men are looking for you. 20 So get up and go downstairs. Do not hesitate to go with them, for I have sent them.” 21 Peter went down and said to the men, “I’m the one you’re looking for. Why have you come?” 22 The men replied, “We have come from Cornelius the centurion. He is a righteous and God-fearing man, who is respected by all the Jewish people. A holy angel told him to ask you to come to his house so that he could hear what you have to say.” 23 Then Peter invited the men into the house to be his guests. The next day Peter started out with them, and some of the believers from Joppa went along.
What principles or beliefs do you hold that might limit your ability to reach people who are different than you?
Father God, You have created every person in Your image but yet we are all unique. Each of us comes with our own unique set of interests, talents, strengths, and weaknesses. Each of us comes with our own unique experiences, backgrounds, and circumstances. Each of us is dealing with our own unique sets of problems, challenges, and situations. All these unique characteristics define each of us as individuals, they define our opinions and how we make decisions. Lord, help me to realize that others don’t have the same reference points as I do. Help me realize that how I process information is different and therefore we can come to alternative solutions. Help me respect the opinions of others when they share their perspective and ideas at work, home, church, or out in the world. As long as the other person is not doing anything immoral, illegal, or hurting other people, please let me be open and listen to their opinion. Allow me to give them the latitude to deal with the situations that are right for them, even though I have another idea. Allow me to not judge people who are struggling because I can’t know what they are dealing with. Help me love people for who they are. Help all people respect the opinions of others and listen to different perspectives so that they can expand their thinking beyond their own personal experiences. Allow the difference between individuals be respected and cherished and differences of opinion not be considered hateful because they are different. Thank you that we are not all exactly the same. You died for the sins of all people. You sent Peter to spread your gospel truth to Gentiles even though Peter came from a different foundation of faith. Let me also see people as you see them and share Your love with them. Thank You that You love me each of us for who we are. Allow me to do the same for others. Amen