Thursday, 17 September 2015

Let our love be genuine

Something I've been thinking about recently is the way Christians are viewed by non-Christians. A lot of them look down on us and call us hypocrites. And in a lot of ways, they'd be right. We can never live up to the standards of our Saviour, and so we strive to be humble and live as reflections of the grace we've received. 

But something I've noticed recently is a huge trend of Christians "bashing" or talking down about other Christians. And I know I, myself, have definitely been guilty of this :( It's something I've been working on. But as I've noticed it in my own life, I've also noticed it all around me. Social media is probably the place where it is worst. 
Y'all know I appreciate some things from the "Duck Dynasty" Robertson Family - and I really like some of the things she said in this video. 
Now, don't get me wrong, I do think it's important that Christians be honest with each other and point out errors in each other's lives to them in love, we need to help each other and stop each other from back-sliding - but that needs to be done one on one, or with a couple of people, but NOT on social media or by spreading rumours. 

As she says - Judgement is not what we are about. The greatest command in God's word is that we are to LOVE. Matthew 22:37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” 

Now, of course, true love means being honest, so we have to be honest with each other about tough things sometimes - I have wonderful friends who do this for me, and I SO appreciate it! But that's not what I'm getting at, I'm getting at when people who don't really know one another get on social media and make judgements about other Christians. This sets such a terrible example to those who don't believe.
Jesus last prayer on earth was for something we don't really expect - it was for unity amongst believers.

John 17:20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

That is such an unexpected thing for Him to pray for as His last prayer on earth, to my small human might anyway haha, but it clearly shows that we need to take this seriously. Unity amongst believers is vital - even if they hold to slightly different standards or are convicted on different issues. For instance, I'd hold to slightly different dress standards to Sadie Robertson based on my personal convictions, and that's OKAY! :) If they are serious issues, we should definitely approach our brothers and sisters about them. But it is important to remember, there is no worse thing for our witness than to bash each other :(
My prayer is that, as believers, our love be genuine for one another, and that we would be united and true to one another, and to Christ, even through our differences. The Bible says through our fruits we will be known (Matthew 7 - you should totally read the whole chapter! :D), so let our fruits be love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. 
It is SO true that words matter (I'm speaking to myself here too!) - let's choose words that build others up and that unite, not divide!

Much love, 
Nina xx
P.S. Disclaimer - I do not believe that, in saying we shouldn't be being judgemental to our brothers in sisters on social media, that we then have license to be doing whatever we want, regardless of God's standards :) We should always be striving to live fully for Him! 

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