Do you ever do this? Sometimes I find myself unconsciously looking down on others (even other Christians) and making prejudgements either because they dress differently, act differently, do things differently.
I was recently in a situation in which I caught myself doing this very thing. I felt like I had “arrived”. That God had “enlightened” me, and that “they” had simply not “gotten there yet”. The poor dears!
Then it hit me like a ton of bricks: what am I doing?? It’s not my job to prejudge appearances! Who am I to look down upon those that do not share my convictions?
I realized that when we get to the point where we throw our convictions and standards at everyone else and expect them to comply, we are not considering others better than ourselves; we are failing to love!
“For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.” ~Romans 12:3
We are all at different levels in our faith, God will convict who He will of what He will—in His timing, and on His terms!
It is God’s job to convict, it’s my job to love. Is there a time that we may need to rebuke a brother or a sister in Christ on something? Absolutely. But each situation is to be handled carefully, correctly applying the concept of Matthew 18, and should be addressing a direct offense against the objective Word of God.
None of us have arrived. I will continue to be sanctified until the day that I reach the pearly gates. I realize that I have so much yet to learn, to be convicted of, to raise the standards of, to continue to be refined in the way of holiness in Jesus Christ. How dare I try to “fix” those around me by forcing them to comply to the little that I know, when God is already at work in them? God has called me to love, and yes, even to sharpen by way of encouraging other Christians in the ways of holiness– but the refining is up to Him.
Questions to ponder:
How do you look down at other Christians because they are different?
How might you look down at non-believers, because they are bad, different?
Is there a difference between loving people and agreeing with their choices?
How did Jesus love those who were bad? (Think of an example, like the woman at the well; the thief on the cross…)