How do you feel about others who do not believe the same as you? Is an attitude of displeasure obvious to those who disagree with you, or your denomination? I hope not.
While we are to be a light to those in darkness, we must remember that we are to possess the fruit of the Spirit as well! One cannot simply feel that, as long as I’m right, that’s all that matters, and others deserve whatever ills may befall them due to their different belief. We need to be less concerned with what we say, and more interested in how we say it!
To be an effective Christian, you need to be a person that someone else wants to be! Sadly, we often put a bad taste in peoples mouth and send them away from the church never to return because they don’t want to be associated with it. I was one of these very people!
Right after high school I went to Bible college in hopes of gaining more knowledge of the scripture, making lifelong christian friends, and having a closer walk with the Lord. My expectations could have not been any further off base. I left after my first year with the attitude of “If this is what a Christian is, I sure don’t want to be one!”
Please let me say, I realize this was an immature decision, and I used it for an excuse to dive into the things of the world that my former upbringing had not allowed. However, this turned out be a valuable lesson because I did find my way back to the Lord, and it has made me mindful of how I “look” as a Christian. (Not that I execute perfectly, but I am mindful!)
As Christians, we have a responsibility to show others the love of Christ — not our personal, and selfish attitudes! Jesus displays this very example in John 13 when He washed the disciples feet. Keep in mind that as He did this, He was already aware of who would betray him, yet He served them all the same!
“12 So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? 13 Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.”
Jesus gave us an example to follow. We cannot justify treating others differently because we don’t like who they are. We have a responsibility to serve others as we are commanded — not even a master is above his servant. Jesus did not just “tell” others what to do, he showed them! We also have this responsibility as His followers to serve others. It’s not about who among us can be the greatest, it’s about glorifying God in all that we do. Too often, we want recognition and this drives our actions, when instead, our main concern should be pleasing the Father, and pointing others to Him through Jesus Christ!
You don’t simply win people by what you say, you win them because of who you are! Do your actions back up words?
I pray, “Father, help me today to show your love and kindness. Help me remember it’s not about me, it’s all about You! Help me show others that our success is not measured in numbers, or earthly acknowledgment, but in bringing honor and glory to You! In Jesus’ name, amen.”