Wednesday, October 29, 2008
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.
By His Stripes We Are Healed, Author