"Who cares how you feel about someone else‘s salvation?"
Well alright then Holy Ghost. I was forced to stop my inner diatribe before it even had a chance to form in my mind.
Part of the reason I started this blog was because I felt that Christians were not being properly represented. I feel that there are plenty of representations of hypocritical, hateful, bigots that proclaim the name of Christ, but not enough loving, kind and forgiving imitations of Him. My initial desire was to be an example of a Christ-loving human and what that looked like in my day to day life in the effort to bring others to the knowledge of Christ. While a few of my initial blogs kept that format (see Read Yourself or Talk Nice to Me), as I have continued to write it has become more of a series of informal essays and articles than a transparent journal of my Christian walk.
It wasn't an intentional shift, and I do try to write pieces that are more relatable than they are lessons, but it varies.
So when I found myself critiquing someone else's faith walk, God had to remind me of who I am.
Romans 3: 22-23 says, "Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;"
Which is Paul's very eloquent way of saying: Nobody is perfect.
Yet because of my own narcissistic need for perfection I had created a suffocating isolated place where no one's salvation could be admired, because every one's salvation was flawed.
“And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother's eye.”
Luke 6:41, 42 KJV
If I'm not careful, my insecurities about my walk with God can become reasons why others can't see the God in me. I've written before about how easy it can be to fall into the category of "hypocrite", this is an extension of that. Instead of just pushing unbelievers away by living a double standard, I could also be pushing other believers away by casting judgement.
“Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:”
Luke 6:37 KJV
To judge means to form an opinion or conclusion about a thing or a person. While God's Word is the standard by which all believers are to live by, our walks should be a discussion we have only between God and ourselves. We are to measure how well we are obedient to God's Word, by how well we are following His instructions. God has called us to be helpers, friends and supporters of one another, but if ever we find ourselves thinking or speaking against another's salvation in our hearts or to others in ways that does not build our brother/sister, we have fallen into the trap of being a hypocrite.
When in doubt, I have found that this scripture has helped me to refocus my attention on what's important:
"And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;"
I Thessalonians 4:11
If I can find myself busy pulling the mote out my own eye, I'll absolutely have less opportunity to see anybody else's.