"Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?" // Romans 2:4
So very often in this world we as Christians look down on those around us, either willingly or not. Some of us do it intentionally, and I would urge you to stop. But I want to send a message to those of us who do so unconsciously. Listen to what Paul has to say.
"You may think you can condemn such people, but you are just as bad, and you have no excuse! When you say they are wicked and should be punished, you are condemning yourself, for you who judge others do these very same things. And we know that God, in his justice, will punish anyone who does such things. Since you judge others for doing these things, why do you think you can avoid God’s judgment when you do the same things?" // Romans 2:1-3
Why is it our first reaction, our tendency, to immediately believe the worst? Have our hearts been so stripped of hope? Why do we as followers of Jesus (who sin every day, by the way) feel superior to those who live in a lifestyle of sin? First off, A) We know better because sin has been revealed to us as such, and B) Those without Christ will always think abstaining from pleasurable things (and they truly are) is out-of-touch.
Do not expect or hold those without Christ to the same caliber and sanctification as yourself.
After all; Jesus, God, and the Holy Spirit are the only reason we can overcome sin. Isn’t that right? If you never saw a speed limit sign, would you be aware that you were speeding? Very often, they haven’t been shown that sex, drugs, or any form of sin is evil when out of the context that God designed. They have no way of knowing.
Which is where we come in.
Jesus gave us four new commandments that summarize His entire mission on Earth. Jesus said, ”’You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments…’ So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other." // Matthew 22:37-40, John 13:34
Love God, Love Others, Love Yourself. And to seal it all in a packaged deal, before ascending into Heaven, Jesus repeats Himself and says, “Love as I have loved.” Believe the best in others - have hope that there is still good in this world. Do not become calloused and jaded; do not let the Enemy steal your hope.
So take yourself off your pedestal and join the world as a light in the darkness. Come to others as equals in love, and above all…
Believe the best.