I’m often a bit confused by the behavior of Christians.
I know that doesn’t surprise you. Christians of all ages have had disagreements with one another. Sometimes, I even disagree with myself. That’s called, changing my mind.
Christian, it’s okay to change your mind because the Holy Spirit convinces you of a better perspective. Regular effort in His Word will provide the help we need. Consider this passage in 2 Timothy (click the link to read it).
The way Christians handle their disagreements with each other and the rest of the world should set us apart.
I’m quick to give lots of understanding to you if you’re a new Christian.
Yet, too often, I see and hear those who name the name of Christ all wrapped up in unmerciful judgment, condemnation, and unforgiveness. We’re called to bless, but our statements too often resemble curses.
It’s disheartening behavior to observe and even worse when you’re the victim of such harshness.
- In the words of Nicodemus of old, I think, “How can these things be?”
- Have you and I forgotten that followers of Christ are called to live differently?
- Shouldn’t we at least try to follow in His steps when it comes to how we treat the world?
The words of John 3:16 are often familiar to those who do not even claim to be Christian. Go one verse deeper and read, “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved” (3:17).
- Since Jesus didn’t come into the world to condemn the world (people), why must so many of His people?
- Why do I hear so many of my peers condemning the world (people) and those they disagree with?
Many would insist that they’re just telling the truth like it is. But we are called to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). A great deal of the rhetoric heard in recent times doesn’t exactly ooze Christ-like love. When the environment is non-threatening and filled with love, people are more able to mentally and emotionally accept the hard truths they need to hear.
Friend, my greater concern is redemption and reconciliation with God. God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself, not condemning the world. After a soul is redeemed, then their minds can be renewed by God’s word.
- But how likely is that to happen if we major in condemnation?
Individuals condemn themselves by living in willful sin and staying in that darkness. The work of the Holy Spirit is to convict of sin, righteousness, and judgment.
He has only anointed me to preach the Gospel. He has only empowered me to be a witness. He has only called me to love.
You might have already considered 1 John 2:15-17 and the admonition to “love not the world, neither the things that are in the world.” Within this context, the Scripture is not telling us to not love people. Here we are cautioned to not become enamored and infatuated with fallen systems and attitudes which oppose the righteous leadership of God’s people.
I’ll leave you with one more passage of Scripture. Luke 6 highlights the paradoxical lifestyle that Christ calls His people to grow in. I dare you to read it every day for the next 30 days.
Pray for me as I endeavor to live by the same counsel of a condemnation-free lifestyle that speaks the truth in love. May my attitudes and actions seek to bless, and not curse, the world that Christ came to save.