Thursday, August 4, 2011

Find yourself condemning other believers?

A few weeks ago I found myself on facebook having a discussion with other believers on the subject of believers being attacked for standing up for what was morally right. Now, mind you. I am not speaking of believers and unbelievers. I am totally speaking about believers in this post.

After that discussion, and I must say there were some heated comments, my heart just never had peace. I mean here were believers and we simply couldn't agree. A few days ago I opened my bible and as you can guess the Lord led me right to where I was to be. Here is what I read.

"Accept other believers who are weak in faith, and don't argue with them about what they think is right or wrong. For instance, one person believes it's all right to eat anything. But another believer with a sensitive conscience will eat only vegetables. Those who feel free to eat anything must not look down on those who do, for God has accepted them. Who are you to condemn someone else's servants? Their own master will judge whether they stand or fall. And with the Lord's help, they will stand and receive his approval. In the same way, some think one day is more holy than another day, while others think every day is alike. You should each be fully convinced that whichever day your choose is acceptable. Those who worship the Lord on a special day do it to honor him. Those who eat any kind of food do so to honor the Lord, since they give thanks to God before eating. And those who refuse to eat certain foods also want to please the Lord and give thanks to God. For we don't live for ourselves or die for ourselves. If we live, it's to honor the Lord. And if we die, it's to honor the Lord. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. Christ died and rose again for this very purpose-to be Lord both of the living and of the dead. So why do you condemn another believer? Why do you look down on another believer? Remember, we will all stand before the judgement seat of God. For the Scriptures say, 'As surely as I live,' says the Lord, 'every knee will bend to me, and every tongue will confess and give praise to God.'" Yes, each of us will give a personal account to God."   Romans 14:1-12

If we have accepted Christ as our Savior that makes us brothers and sisters, not enemies or judges of one another. Each of us, although on the same journey, are all on different paths with Christ. Our walk with Him is personal. What one finds okay, another might feel conviction. For instance. I do not like Harry Potter or the vampire series of books. For me, I feel conviction. But for another? Maybe they see the good verses evil. Maybe they can walk away with a message of gold. It isn't for me to judge another for what they are reading. I have friends who love this stuff and they are some of the most special people I know.

We all enjoy different music. I do not always have my radio attuned to the Christian station. I love all kinds of music. Yes, when I feel convicted over a song, I change that station. There are some things I refuse to listen to. But music is soothing to the soul. We are all different and do not have to enjoy the same things. That is what makes us unique. Just as in church. Some enjoy contemporary music as others are more traditional.

Now, do we accept sin? Of course not. But we accept our brothers and sisters in Christ no matter what walk they are on. There are days I wake and I know I am right where I am to be with Christ. Then again, there are days where I wake and start my day with Christ no where in sight. I am off doing my own thing. We look at others and say, "How could they do that?" Too many times we walk with a holier than thou attitude of our brothers and sisters. Many times we do walk as if we are better than another. Maybe we grew up in a Christian home. Maybe you are like me and didn't come to know Christ until much later in life. When we point a figure at another brother or sister in Christ we are in judgement of them. No wonder it is so hard for unbelievers to come to know Christ. Believers cannot even get along. We must make a choice. Simple as that. That same grace we want from our Savior we too should be willing to give to another. The same goes for forgiveness.

We can find ourselves dividing over an issue, when in fact we must come to the place in love where we can agree to disagree. Friends, as long as we can agree on Salvation, does anything else really matter? If we believe that Christ died for our sins and rose again on the third day, does anything else really matter? It doesn't matter if we worship on a Saturday night or a Sunday morning. Whether we wear a dress to church or find ourselves in shorts and flip flops, does it really matter? We get so caught up in what everyone else is doing wrong we forget what doing right is. We comment on those folks who don't find themselves in church every Sunday or open their bible every day. Friends, it is not for us to be in judgement of another. We are all in different places with the Lord.

All we must do is be genuine in our faith. All we must do is focus on our personal relationship with Christ and allow everyone else to be on that same personal journey too. I can open my bible and read something I know I read years ago, but in this moment I find myself being overwhelmed in His Word. I find myself reading His message and it speaks straight to my heart as when I read it the first time it didn't have that same affect on me. Why? Because I am in a different place today than I was then.

We should be able to walk on this journey and have our brothers and sisters cheering us on along the way, not pointing fingers behind our backs. I think at some point we can all feel judged by other believers. Some choose not to partake in watching television. That is their personal decision. We love to point out what we think others are doing wrong, but in that same sense we forget our own sin we are committing. Some how we all seem to think we are right and the other is wrong. Shame on us. Shame on us. On the day we meet Jesus face to face, it will not be those holier than thou church members standing side by side us with Jesus. They will not be in judgement of us, nor we of them. It will be Jesus and us. We will not be standing pointing fingers and making excuses. Our mouths will be completely shut for once in our lives and we will stand and listen to the Lord as we are held accountable for every word and action of our entire life. Still want to point fingers at another? That makes me want to concentrate on my walk with Him.

God convicts us all in different ways and at different times. We must respect one another and show love. It isn't so much about issues as it is in worshipping and praising our Savior together as believers. We get caught up in whether one is Baptist or Non-Denominational. You know what we do? We begin to make up our own man made rules and aspect everyone to follow the way we believe or the way we would do something. It isn't what we believe, my friends. It is God's Word. It isn't what I would do in a situation. It's what Christ would do in a situation.

May we give one another room to walk this journey and may we too be able to hold hands as we walk this journey getting to Christ on a more personal level than ever before. As Christians we must remember we are sinners in need of a Savior. The only difference in us and the world as that we have accepted we are sinners and we are in of a Savior. That does not in any way at all make us better than another. As Christians we are going to make mistakes. I make mistakes on a daily basis. Being a Christian doesn't mean we are sinless. Only Christ is sinless. But on our journey we try to sin less. May we never look to another and think we are far better Christians because we have known Christ longer. Each of us have a story. We each have our own personal testimony and there is not one that is more important. We are children of the King of kings, Lord of lords. It is time we open our arms to our brothers and sisters and stop judging those we sit next to in our pews.

"So Let's stop condemning each other. Decide instead to live in such a way that you will not cause another to stumble adn fall." Romans 14:13


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