Do you ever find yourself scrolling through social media and judging every person, post, or picture you see? Did you see a new post about something you do not agree with and hate swells up in your heart?
Did you forget what Jesus said about loving God first and RIGHT after that, loving your neighbor - your black, white, hispanic, gay, trans, buddhist, atheist, neighbor?
“The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:31 (NIV)
For the last few years, I found myself crying frequently for this nation's heart. I have seen many Christian friends fall away from God because their peers showed more hate than love. I have seen people walk further away from ever accepting Jesus because of the hate that many Christians proudly show. I see war being waged between Christians and the people of this nation and world because judgement is more important than love to them.
I have been guilty of unfriending people because of differing beliefs. These differing beliefs span from religion to social/political issues. I cast the first stone on people who did not see eye to eye with me when I refused to see their issue from their point of view. I had hate in my heart for people who would rather walk all over me than to dig deeper and see why they feel the way they feel. Instead of standing with my brother or sister in Christ, despite our differing views, I rejected them because it was what I wanted to do. Instead of loving gay, atheist, or women who have had an abortion, I looked the other way because that is what I thought was right. Instead of letting God use me in those difficult situations, I first judged them and took the easy way out by unfriending them or never talking to them again.
“All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” John 8:7 (NLT)
I am not without sin. I have yet to meet a Christian who is also without sin. I have met Christians who are willing to cast the first stone without once considering the grace that they need to give, just as Jesus gave us.
We are not called to judge this world as it is; that is for God to do. We cannot expect someone who does not know Jesus to act the way we want them to. If you know how to plant seeds and your neighbor does not, you cannot judge them about something they know nothing about. We are called to love everyone, including those whose views are extremely opposite of yours.
“What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside?” 1 Corinthians 5:12 (NIV)
As much as you do not want to hear this, we ARE called as Christians to call each other out on our wrong doings because we know better. We are called to be accountable for each other when accountability is asked for. Do not judge your brother or sister, but call them out, in truth and love, when they seem to be doing or saying something that does not represent Christ. We are the body, and we are supposed to be examples of true and freeing love. The love that was given to us is supposed to be spread to everyone so that they may know the true love of Christ. None of us have the right to judge those who do not know Christ because we were once like them. Jesus has called us to love because He first loved us, even when we were running from Him. Throw that stone away and love your neighbor the way Jesus loves them.