By, Lysandra Osterkamp
“Let us not therefore judge one another any more:
but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock
or an occasion to fall in his brother's way.”
It’s vacation! I love our family vacations. We are a family of six, so, needless to say, financially we aren’t flying anywhere for our travels! We all load up in the minivan and hit the road for hours. While this would never be my first choice for travel, there are some real benefits.
The most impactful benefit is the time we open up the Word of God and discuss it. We’re trapped with nowhere to go and nothing to distract us. The discussion gets deep. We opened Romans 14 on our most recent trip.
We noted that this passage is written to Christians who were in disagreement and fighting about certain beliefs and preferences. We began to discuss what it means to not judge our brothers and sisters in Christ.
About an hour after our Bible time, we heard this phrase on the radio, “It’s hard to throw stones when you’re washing feet.” This phrase touched my heart. Obviously, God was trying to speak to us. And we were listening. We need to serve our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ rather than condemning them for their differences.
If we are serving people like Jesus did when He washed the disciple’s feet, we’ll be too occupied to go find someone in their failure and try to stone them for it. The phrase refers to two passages; John13:1-17 and John 8:1-11.
If we disagree with the preferences of other Christians, we are not to judge them. We are to love them and do our best not to cause them to stumble in their beliefs. Whether their standards are higher or lower, there is no place for us to judge. God is their judge.
If you feel lead of the Lord to reprove someone of their sin (not preferences) then do so in a private, loving way. Reconciliation should be the goal not humiliation.
God is more concerned about your heart than someone else’s dress code. He desires your service to Him more than your persuading someone to agree with your musical preference. He wants you to reach people for Jesus rather than your assessment of another Christian’s haircut. Love your brothers and sisters in Jesus rather than fighting with them.
We waste so much time worrying about what other Christians are doing while lost souls are on their way to an eternity in the Lake of Fire. Let us love, serve, and evangelize rather than hate, condemn, and criticize. Lay down your stone and pick up your cloth.
There is sweet freedom in getting our eyes off other Christians and back on our own relationship with Jesus.