Wednesday, October 29, 2008

"...And I Thought You Were A Christian."

Hate is a strong word that I try not to use. But if I was to use the word, I would say that I HATE it when I hear people (especially Christians) tell someone that they thought someone else was a Christian when they see them behaving in a manner that is unbecoming of a Christian. As brothers and sisters in Christ, we should pray for our sisters and brothers if we see them headed the wrong way and not cast judgment. If after praying for the individual, we feel led to speak on the matter we should do so with love and kindness. After all, there was a time at which all of us were on the wrong path so we should learn to treat others as we would like to be treated. Had it not been for Jesus showing us love and kindness, where would we be? After all, we were commanded by Jesus Himself to love one another as He loved us (John 13:34).

It is true that to be a Christian means that we are striving to be like Christ. In our striving to be more and more like Jesus, there are some behaviors that we should no longer exhibit (2 Corinthians 5:17). However we must remember that no one is perfect and as long as we are in this flesh we are going to have our trials and tribulations. The Word tells us that the sprit is willing but the flesh is weak (Matthew 26:41). This is why we must pray so that we don’t enter into temptation. We must learn to walk in the spirit so that we do not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. There are some of us still struggling with the “walking” part so those of us who are a little stronger must remember to bear the infirmities of the weak. We must always be ever mindful of where God has brought us from. Just because God delivered you and me from certain bondages does not mean that the next individual has overcome those areas in their life. Besides, none of us have arrived yet (Philippians 3:14). So instead of judging others, we should show them mercy if we expect to receive mercy (Matthew 5:7). I’m not saying that we should excuse their behavior because they are going through a tough time but we should never question whether or not someone is truly a follower of Christ just because they may have stumbled, slipped or even fallen. Words do hurt. We can literally kill ministries and individual spirits by acting like “church folk” instead of Christians.

Many times we see people headed the wrong way, drifting out of fellowship with the Body of Christ and with God and we say nothing. We figure that it’s none of our business. We tell ourselves that they know the truth and whenever they are ready to come to senses and back to the Lord that they know what to do. But, we are living in a time where people are checking out of here left and right. Sadly enough, many of them are not saved or not in right standing with the Lord. So my sisters and brothers, I ask you to pray one for another, pray for me and reach out to those that are not behaving in a godly manner all the more. We need to all come together and put aside divisions, strife, denominations, and most of all judgment.

Shanita Waters
By His Stripes We Are Healed, Author


Sharon said...

Very well written my sister! Yes you are so right, we are not to judge, or be judged.
But those that slip away, even if I do not care for the individual I will still hunt them down, Tell them that God Loves them, and I miss seeing them in church, no I do not let them go, I always try, and you know what, they appreciate it, also I find myself change along with them, they always end up my best friend. Does this sound strange too you? It's true, if we show Love, we inturn receive it back, as long as we pray for Jesus to help us in this situation. I know I am not always right, nor perfect by no means, but I know I will take this first step to rectify a situation. I will tell you this, My husband and I always for 2 1/2 years sat on one side of the church and in the same seats, we just left our church 3 weeks ago, and we don't know why but the last 2 weeks the entire side has been empty, this is per my husbands mom, she said it looks strange because that side has always been the fullest. I told her to call the people, go see them. what ever it takes!!
But yes we are to Love one another, forgive and not judge.

I love your post~!!! Be blessed my sister
Love & Hugssss

SLC said...

You're with the Word so I'm with you on this.

Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.

Shanita Waters said...

@ Sharon - this is SO true. We have to reach out to one another in LOVE.

@ SLC -thanks for stopping by and listing those scriptures too!

God Chaser said...

Amen, Amen you speak truth here we forget we will all be jusdged as we judge- as Belivers we are to help one another in love. Thanks for this post

A Free Spirit Butterfly said...

That was my Pastor's sermon last night... Matthew 7, Judging others. I'm guilty of that and struggle with controlling my negative thoughts. I don't say the phrase I thought you were saved, it just seems that now that I am, the devil appearance is crystal clear. The people I perceive to be negative, their voices are louder than before and I now ask myself, was it always like that? I still growing in faith and God was patient w/me for 43 years so again, who am I to judge! Peace & Blessings.

Shanita Waters said...

@ Free Spirit - we are all guilty of one thing or another and at times I know we all judge (even if it is unintentional). I don't think the danger of judging is in judging itself but "how" we are judging. We will be judged with the "same measure" we use to judge others. If God judged me like I judged other people (early on in my walk), I would be in big trouble but thank God for second, third, so on and so forth chances. Thank God for having mercy on us. It is the mercy that He gives us that allows us to be merciful to others.

Whenever I meet new Christians I also tell them to look at Jesus. Man will dissapoint you but Jesus never will. We all fall short but He doesn't.

Their voices are louder now than before because now you are able to hear clearly and God is opening your consciousness to thinks that you weren't ready for before.