*Disclaimer: This is one of the hardest posts I’ve ever written, but I feel it really needs to be said. We live in a world where any information we want is at our fingertips and where words last forever in an online database. As Christians, we need to be cautious and aware.*
I am here to proclaim that I am a sinner. I am not perfect! I have walked a troubled path and know as a Daughter of the King that the Devil will seek to use this against me and against God. So I am here to take a stand, to boldly claim and repent of my sins. I am here to seek accountability in my walk with Christ going forward.
We live in a world of such harsh judgement that as a blogger, I find myself bracing for the next attack. Where will it come from next? Who will be the attacker? What will they choose to judge me on? As a Christian, I know I do not have to trouble myself with the world’s judgments, but goodness it is hard on my heart!
The most difficult for my heart, and mind, is that it is not simply non Christians judging harshly. Words like “pharisee”, “dangerous” and “fake Christian” are tossed around with little thought in Christian circles. God tells us to be careful with our words and to judge without hypocrisy.
He commands us to encourage one another, to build each other up, and to love our brother and sister even when they stumble. The Bible tells us that all sinners deserve the same fate (Romans 3:23). We know this as Christians and yet….
How dare a Christian have an unclean past
How dare they be divorced or remarried
How dare they have a child out of wedlock
How dare they have a criminal history
How dare they drink or smoke
How dare they have tattoos
How dare they not attend every service and activity at church
How dare they not be KJV only
How dare they be Catholic, Anabaptist, Seventh Day or simply, the “wrong” denomination
How dare they not observe Levitical Laws
How dare they not be New Testament only
And on and on and…
By amazing grace we are saved!
This all said, we must remember how God works in our hearts.
Conviction is not always immediate–sometimes, oftentimes, it is a long long process. Like the growth of a flower or a pregnancy, God plants the seed of change in our hearts. He cultivates it, causing it to grow, knowing the signs will not be apparent right away (remember when strangers exclaimed “you don’t look pregnant!”). He knows how much work each of us needs and is ready and willing to put in the time!
Are we so arrogant to think that we can judge another Christian, a creation of God, calling them fake because we can’t see the signs *we* want to see? The fruit we are proclaiming not to see may be just beneath the surface, ready to bloom. A good garden hand knows not to cut a branch with bud–accepting Christ is the first graft and it is a grafted branch with hundreds of buds! They will not all bloom at the same time or immediately though.
Are we serving these brothers and sisters, or God, well by judging harshly? Their sins may be great, but never greater than our God (1 John 3:20)! We should pray for them friends, pray for them always (1 John 5:16). Offer a helping hand, offer love, offer humility, patience and tenderness. After all, is this not how Jesus accepted us in all our sin and is this not how he commanded us to treat others (Ephesians 4:29-32, 1 Peter 3:8-12, 1 Timothy 5:1-2)?
Ladies, I am not saying we are never to judge but that we should judge and accordingly ACT Biblically (John 7:24, Matthew 7:2-5, Romans 14:1-23). When we simply throw down a harsh word we fail in our calling. God uses each of us when we willingly allow Him. Be a willing tool (2 Chronicles 16:9). We may not do something world changing on our own but we may help someone who’s testimony is going to change the world as we know it.
Whether it is our children, family, friend, acquaintance or stranger, we can show them and lead them to the love of Christ. Be an example for him. Be the person that when others are around you they say “Now that is a Christian! Their love for Christ and others is apparent! I want to know God the way they do!”