I want to piggyback a little off of yesterday’s post which you can find here on not judging others’ walks with Jesus based on our own.
Going over what I wanted to say with Jeremy, he reminded me of Romans chapter 14. The whole chapter is about the dangers of criticism.
Starting at the very beginning, verse 4 says, “Who are you to condemn someone else’s servant? Their own master will judge whether they stand or fall. And with the Lord’s help, they will stand and receive His approval.” We aren’t the masters of each other. We all serve the same Master. All servants don’t have the same abilities or the same duties, but all answer to the same Master. Just as we are told in 1 Corinthians 12:18, “But now God has placed the parts, each one of them in the body as God wants.” We are all part of the body that answers to the head that is Christ, but we are each distinctive and serve Him as He created us.
In verse 10, it says, “Why do you judge your sibling? Or also you, why do you devalue your sibling?” Why would we want to look down on our brother or sister in Christ just because they don’t see something or do something exactly the same way we do? Did God not create us all to be different? And verse 13, “Therefore, no longer let us judge one another but instead judge this: Not to place a stumbling- or tripping-stone for a sibling.” Not only should we not judge them or look down on them, but we should show them the same grace we want extended toward ourselves. We should remember, as verse 10 went on to say, that we will each stand before God. So instead of finger pointing and tripping each other up and tearing each other down, let us remember that “the Kingdom of God is…living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit…let us aim for harmony in the church and try to build each other up.” (verses 17,19) In verses 22 and 23, Paul says that if you have decided something is right, don’t feel guilty in doing it, but if you do something you believe is not right, you are sinning. He doesn’t say if someone else thinks it is or isn’t right. Or if you think what someone else is doing is or isn’t right. He says if you are convicted something is right, do it in good conscience. If it goes against your conscience, don’t do it. But don’t judge someone else based off of your conscience. Let them work out their own convictions in their own walk with God.
Each of us as God’s children have His Spirit dwelling in us. In John 14:26, Jesus tells His followers, “the Holy Spirit – He will teach you everything and remind you of everything I have told you.” John reiterates this in 1 John 2:20 and 27, where he tells his audience the Spirit has been given and will teach them everything they need to know. This same Spirit we have dwelling within us today. Let Him work in you, and let Him work in others. In His own way, in His own time. Because we are all servants of the same Master, each in the way He created us.