I heard a few months ago someone say that we, as Christians, are often times easy on the Christians and/or church goers, but we’re hard on the non-Christians. It’s true and I’m wonder why that is?
I’m not really sure. We’re easy to judge the “big” sins and easy to excuse the “little” sins. You know what I mean, another Christian friend says, “it’s not really a lie, it’s just ‘extending’ the truth a little”. Or “it’s like driving on the highway — everyone speeds, so it’s perfectly fine if you lie — everyone lies”. Wherever did holiness and truth go? However, we’re quick to judge those of the world (those not a part of our church, or the church as a whole). We even judge people before we know if they’re guilty. Every day on the news, someone is being accused of something — and we go right ahead and judge them, saying they should be locked away for life.
As for me, if I am doing anything that is sinful, I want someone to tell me and push me to remove it from my life. Paul went as far as to say they should be removed from the church if they continue to live in sin so that they may return to the truth (read 1st Corinthians 5 for one of the times this is mentioned). I’m not saying we should throw out everyone in our churches for sin — because we all sin — but we should be striving to remove it from our lives. In 1st Corinthians 5:11, Paul says that we should not “associate with people who claims to be a believer yet indulges in sexual sin”. He even made it clear that he did not mean those who were not claiming to be a Christian, but those who were claiming to be.
But this brings up the other point, why are we so hard on the non-believers? We have to love them and show them the love of Christ, so that they will see who Christ is, through us. We can’t remain in sin and try to lead others to Christ (then you’ll have a liberal-Christianity that does not follow the Bible, which is another topic in itself). We have to show them love. We have to show them what we believe what we believe, and why.
Now am I saying we have to do works to be a Christian? No. Actually, none of this is a work. Christ said to the rich young ruler that he had to sell all of his earthly possessions to receive eternal life — that’s a “work”, but why did he say it? He said that because Christ wanted to man to change his heart, to love Christ. A mind change can’t get you to heaven, it’s a heart change. It’s like a marriage, when you get married you aren’t going to have a few people on the side still. The spouse should now have your heart. In the same way, when we accept Christ, we have to change our hearts. When you give Christ your heart, it will motivate you to want to remove those sins in your life. There’s a quote in the book I read a few months ago, “When Heaven Weeps” (Ted Dekker) that says, “If you say you love Christ, but are not driven to throw away everything for that pearl of great price, you deceive yourself. This is what Christ said.”
Anyway, I’ve just had that on my mind for a while.