Sermon quotes on Acceptance

Jack Adams

If it’s free, it’s advice; if you pay for it, it’s counseling; if you can use either one, it’s a miracle.

Maya Angelou

The fact that the adult American Negro female emerges a formidable character is often met with amazement, distaste and even belligerance. It is seldom accepted as an inevitable outcome of the struggle won by survivors, and deserves respect if not enthusiastic acceptance.

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, 1970.

Augustine of Hippo

God loves each of us as if there were only one of us.

Reinhard Bonnke

Don’t accept the applause of men, and you won’t be destroyed by their criticism.

Honore de Balzac

Nothing is a greater impediment to being on good terms with others than being ill at ease with yourself.

Brené Brown

Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance.

Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead.

Bryan Chapell

Grace frees us from having to earn God’s acceptance by meeting others’ expectations, and it also frees us from the unholy pride and prejudice of determining others’ acceptance by God on the basis of our own wisdom.   

Holiness by Grace: Delighting in the Joy That Is Our Strength, Crossway.

Mike Cosper

The need for affirmation is spiritual, and the behavior it inspires is religious. The longing for acceptance is at the core of human experience and it shadows all of human history.

Taken from Recapturing the Wonder: Transcendent Faith in a Disenchanted World by Mike Cosper. Copyright (c) 2017, p.39. Published by InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL.

Ellen DeGeneres

Accept who you are. Unless you’re a serial killer.

Albert Einstein

Once you can accept the universe as being something expanding into an infinite nothing which is something, wearing stripes with plaid is easy.

Jacques Ellul

Christians were never meant to be normal. We’ve always been holy troublemakers, we’ve always been creators of uncertainty, agents of dimension that’s incompatible with the status quo; we do not accept the world as it is, but we insist on the world becoming the way that God wants it to be. And the Kingdom of God is different from the patterns of this world.

The Meaning of the City


Timothy Keller

To pray is to accept that we are, and always will be, wholly dependent on God for everything.

Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God, Penguin p.81.

Mary E. DeMuth

It’s an act of our will to choose to see people simply as wildly loved by God, to assume their beauty before guessing their depravity.”

Everything: What You Give and What You Gain to Become Like Jesus

Henry Drummond

How many prodigals are kept out of the kingdom of God by the unlovely characters of those who profess to be inside!

Thomas à Kempis

If God were our one and only desire we would not be so easily upset when our opinions do not find outside acceptance.

The Imitation of Christ

Thomas à Kempis

Do not let your peace depend on the hearts of men; whatever they say about you, good or bad, you are not because of it another man, for as you are, you are.

Abraham Lincoln

When you have got an elephant by the hind legs and he is trying to run away, it’s best to let him run.

The Wit & Wisdom of Abraham Lincoln: A Treasury of Quotations, Anecdotes, and Observations”, 1999, Gramercy.

Brennan Manning

When we accept ourselves for what we are, we decrease our hunger for power or the acceptance of others because our self-intimacy reinforces our inner sense of security. We are no longer preoccupied with being powerful or popular. We no longer fear criticism because we accept the reality of our human limitations. Once integrated, we are less often plagued with the desire to please others because simply being true to ourselves brings lasting peace. We are grateful for life and we deeply appreciate and love ourselves.

The Ragamuffin Gospel: Good News for the Bedraggled, Beat-Up, and Burnt Out, Multnomah.

Brennan Manning

Several times in my ministry people have expressed the fear that self-acceptance will abort the ongoing conversion process and lead to a life of spiritual laziness and moral laxity. Nothing could be more untrue. The acceptance of self does not mean to be resigned to the status quo. On the contrary, the more fully we accept ourselves, the more successfully we begin to grow. Love is a far better stimulus than threat or pressure.

The Ragamuffin Gospel: Good News for the Bedraggled, Beat-Up, and Burnt Out

Thomas Merton

Surrender your poverty and acknowledge your nothingness to the Lord. Whether you understand it or not, God loves you, is present in you, lives in you, dwells in you, calls you, saves you, and offers you an understanding and compassion which are like nothing you have ever found in a book or heard in a sermon.

The Hidden Ground of Love: Letters (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1985).

Thomas Merton

A tree gives glory to God by being a tree. For in being what God means it to be it is obeying [God]. It “consents,” so to speak, to [God’s] creative love. It is expressing an idea which is in God and which is not distinct from the essence of God, and therefore a tree imitates God by being a tree.

New Seeds of Contemplation

Rheinhold Niebuhr

God, give me grace to accept with serenity

the things that cannot be changed,

Courage to change the things

which should be changed,

and the Wisdom to distinguish

the one from the other.

 Living one day at a time,

Enjoying one moment at a time,

Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,

Taking, as Jesus did,

This sinful world as it is,

Not as I would have it,

Trusting that You will make all things right,

If I surrender to Your will,

So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,

And supremely happy with You forever in the next.


Henri J.M. Nouwen

Hospitality is not to change people, but to offer them space where change can take place.

Burk Parsons

The Word of God is clear, it is not that we have accepted God; rather He has accepted us… [Yet many Christians] actually think that they accepted God, and therefore it is only natural for them to think that they need to keep accepting God every hour of every day in order to make it as a Christian… In the cross of Christ, the bride of Christ has been made acceptable to God, and such acceptance is the foundation of our assurance.

Assured by God: Living in the Fullness of God’s Grace, ed. Burk Parsons, P&R, 2006, p. 27, 28, 29.

Fred Rogers

What’s been important in my understanding of myself and others is the fact that each one of us is so much more than any one thing. A sick child is much more than his or her sickness.

A person with a disability is much, much more than a handicap. A pediatrician is more than a medical doctor. You’re MUCH more than your job description or your age or your income or your output.”

The World According to Mister Rogers: Important Things to Remember, Hatchette Books.

Fred Rogers

It would have been sad for me to spend my life just trying to superimpose stuff on people rather than trying to encourage them to look within themselves for what’s of value.

Source Unknown

If you can’t get out of it, get into it.

Robert Louis Stevenson

We must accept life for what it actually is – a challenge to our quality without which we should never know of what stuff we are made, or grow to our full stature.

Mark Talbot

American Christianity tends toward a kind of “easy-believism.” The Gospel is often presented in a way that suggests that someone is saved as soon as he or she has “accepted” Jesus as Savior, even if that “acceptance” never manifests itself in the emotional and volitional recentering of the person’s entire life. But this is actually the paradigm of the sort of dead and fruitless faith that the whole New Testament condemns.

The Signs of True Conversion, Crossway Books, 2000, p. 28.

Lysa TerKeurst

I can face things that are out of my control and not act out of control.

Mark Twain

The worst loneliness is to not be comfortable with yourself.

Mark Twain

A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.

Mark Twain’s Essays: Top Essays, p.14.

Jean Vanier

Growth begins when we start to accept our own weakness.

Diane Von Furstenberg

You’re always with yourself, so you might as well enjoy the company.

Jean Vanier

Growth begins when we start to accept our own weakness.

Diane Von Furstenberg

You’re always with yourself, so you might as well enjoy the company.

N.T. Wright

Romans 6 shines a bright spotlight on the dangerous half-truth, currently fashionable, that ‘God accepts us as we are.’ Will ‘God’s acceptance’ do as a complete grounding of Christian ethics? Emphatically not. Grace reaches where humans are, and accepts them as they are, because anything less would result in nobody’s being saved. Justification is by grace alone, through faith alone. But grace is always transformative. God accepts us where we are, but God does not intend to leave us where we are… The radical inclusivity of the gospel must be matched by the radical exclusivity of Christian holiness.

Romans Commentary, pg 548.

Mark Twain

A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.

Mark Twain’s Essays: Top Essays, p.14.

John C. Maxwell

Most people don’t lead their life, they accept their life.

Facebook Post, November 30, 2020.

Dick Ryan

Whatever happens to me in life,

I must believe that somewhere,

In the mess or madness of it all,

There is a sacred potential—

possibility for wondrous redemption

In the embracing of all that is.

Straight from the Heart: Reflections from Twentieth-Century Mystics ed. Crossroad Publishing Company, 2001, p.85.

Fred Rogers

I don’t think that anybody can grow unless he really is accepted exactly as he is.

Still Looking for inspiration?

Consider checking out our illustrations page on Love. 

Follow us on social media: