Looking across the filled room, she noticed that no one was interested in what the speaker had to say. Some looked blank, while others were obviously on their phones. There were even some who looked asleep with their eyes open. She thought, “How am I the only one who wants to hear this? Why are all these people even here if they don’t care?” As she allowed these thoughts to continue, they spiraled into a tornado of criticism. Within minutes all she saw the rest of the room as was fake hypocrites that she didn’t want any association with.
Maybe I’m the only one who has let my thoughts get this extreme, but this has definitely been a scenario that I’ve experienced. If you’re someone who feels like you’re serving God wholeheartedly, there may have come a time when you looked around your church congregation and felt surrounded by a bunch of no-good fakers. Or, maybe it’s not so much about your church family, because they are the best! Your church is right and so much better than all those other denominations because they are all wrong. These perspectives as a Christian are NOT okay.
“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.” Romans 14:4
God has really been softening my heart and teaching me concerning his body. He has been showing me his heart, because I asked to see it, and his heart is for the believers. He has been revealing the amount of criticism and judgement that I’ve allowed to live in my thoughts and perceptions and it is a lot!
Condemnation and criticism are not in the heart of God. Do you think he wants it in the hearts of his people? Certainly not. I’ve mentioned having a renewed mind and keeping your thoughts in check and this is another area to do that in. The two commandments we are given are to love God and love people (Luke 10:27). Then we are told how loving people shows that we love God (1 John 4).
Proverbs 6:19 tells us it is an abomination to the Lord to sow discord. That means those who plant disagreement between people promotes the Lord’s hatred. I personally don’t EVER want to do something that the Lord hates. What a dangerous place that would be! That’s why we are told: “Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment.” 1 Cor. 1:10
Anyone who has accepted Jesus as their personal Lord and savior and believes the Bible to be the holy written word of God, he is my family. I was raised in and now serve in a non-denominational church. I guess you would relate our theology most closely with the Pentecostal denomination. Does that mean I think Baptists or Methodists or Presbyterians are not in my family? Not at all!
“But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be.” 1 Cor. 12:18 This passage shows that just because you aren’t the same part, doesn’t mean you are not still a part of the body. Often times this passage of scripture is taught in reference to the local body, as in the individual church, but that alone is a division and should not be. I’ve attended two worship events in the last week that included a variety of churches and denominations and the spirit of God was there and moved in mighty ways because Jesus was the center.
“Because of the privilege and authority[a] God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.” Romans 12:3
My encouragement is to get our eyes off ourselves and our ideas of what things need to look like. Instead, appreciate all members of your body and step into your place in the body so that both the kingdom of God and the world may benefit. That is indeed our purpose in the earth!
Love you all!