Christians talk a lot about standing up for our beliefs and doctrines. It seems we often feel this is the best way to show our devotion to God and to be a witness for Him.
But I am not so sure we are going about this in the correct way. As Christians, we are getting to be known more for what we are against and for what we condemn instead of for how we show the love of God to others.
Many of us go to a church building on Sunday and sing and smile and listen to a sermon and think we have fulfilled our duties for the week. All day we feel good and close to God and we think everything is good.
Then Monday hits and we go grudgingly off to work with a frown on our face and feeling down. We might even be in a bad mood and snap at our fellow employees and try to make them feel as bad as we do.
We too easily forget that Christianity is not a religion or a one day a week life. As followers of Christ, we are to let Christ live through us in the strength of the Holy Spirit. We are to let his love flow out of us to touch those we come in contact with throughout the day.
Instead of trying to win people over to our way of thinking by pointing out their mistakes and shortcomings, instead of condemning them and making them feel like outsiders, we should be allowing the love of Christ to touch them. We should accept and treat all people like we want to be treated.
While Jesus lived in bodily form on earth, he constantly spent time with those the religious crowd would not even think about being around. He spent time doing things that the religious leaders thought were wrong and against their religious laws. They could not even accept him as the messiah because he was so different from them and what they thought was a godly way to live.
Jesus accepted people for who they were, just the way they were, and did not show condemnation toward them. As followers of Christ, we are to do the same. It is not our job to be the judge of others, pointing out their sins and mistakes and treating them like second class people. The Holy Spirit will convict the world of sin where conviction is needed. We do not need to do the job of the Holy Spirit; we are here to be Jesus to all people by loving, accepting, and treating everyone with respect, no matter who they are or what they believe.
As discrimination and hate spread throughout the world, often by those claiming to be Christians, we need to allow the Holy Spirit to love through us in order to let others know they are accepted and cared for–that in God’s eyes they are loved beyond measure. Love is the way of God because God is love.
Photo via Unsplash.
About Jim Gordon
Jim Gordon is the contributor for Done with Religion, a blog site about living for God in a non-religious way. He grew up in the church system and was part of several churches over the next few years before leaving the institution. He and his wife, after many years in the organized church, have been living for God outside the walls of the traditional church.