Sunday, March 4, 2012

Varying degrees?

Hey all!  Hope you haven't blown away in this wind...yikes!

I've had pieces of this post written for quite awhile.  I wasn't sure whether or not I'd ever actually make it public, but I was "nudged" to do so in Sunday school today (by God...not a physical nudge☺).

Disclaimer: Some of this may offend some of you, and that is not my intention.  I'm also not out to start an argument about what I think is Biblically right and wrong.  I'm simply sharing my own thoughts and reflections.  I'd welcome some healthy discussion if you have anything to add after reading!  ☺

The following lists are by no means comprehensive - just what first comes to mind.

Things society thinks are wrong:

Things I think are wrong:
all of the above
premarital sex

Things God thinks are wrong (based on my own knowledge of Him):
all of the above
using His name in vain
putting other things before Him

The difference between these three categories is this:
Society, and myself included, views these "things that are wrong" in varying degrees.  There is a far higher punishment for murder than there is for cheating.  I am quicker to judge a criminal over a couple who may have had sex before marriage.  For God, however, all of these "wrongs" - these sins - are equal.  An adulterer is going to face the same judgement as the person who spread a rumor about a coworker.  Someone who leaves without paying the check is ultimately going to be judged in the same light as a pedophile.

Did you catch that word I used to describe how I react to people who have done these wrong things?  I said "I am quicker to judge a criminal over a couple who may have had sex before marriage."  Judge.  That's not what I'm called to do!  That's not what anyone is called to do.  In fact, I should add "judging others" to the list of things God thinks are wrong.  It is not our job to condemn others in any situation.  Rather, and I think I've said this in an earlier post, we are called to love others.    Of course, in answering the call to do so, we're held to a higher standard and asked to live as examples of Christ.  Christ loves everyone, though...and so should we.  Perhaps you're familiar with all the times He was in fellowship with sinners?  We don't have to go far to follow this particular example He set.  We're in fellowship with sinners everywhere - at work, at church, at family gatherings, at home.  The key to Christ's example, however, is to find the sinners who may not recognize their sin or their need for repentance.  Again, though - this doesn't mean we approach them, point out their sin, tell them they'd better confess "or else," and walk away.  Have you ever heard the phrase "Love the sinner, not the sin?"  It goes hand-in-hand with "Hate the sin, not the sinner."  We are to develop relationships with those around us, Christian or not, and again, be an example of Christ's love.  If the Holy Spirit "nudges" you to present the Gospel to someone in the meantime, by all means, take the opportunity!  If your Christ-like example is simply to help someone carry groceries to their car, though, don't take it lightly.  Take every opportunity to show others the "love that surpasses all understanding."

I could reference plenty of Bible verses to back these thoughts up, but I'm going to let you draw from your own experiences to interpret where I'm coming from and perhaps do some research on your own if you're questioning anything.  Please feel free to let me know if you find anything that goes against what I've presented here.

I realize some of you reading this may not have any knowledge of the Bible or Christianity in general.  Some of you may disagree with everything you just read.  Some of you may have tons of questions.  Some of you may not care, period.  Either way, please let me know if you have any questions at all!  If I can't answer them, I'll help you find someone who can.

As usual, thanks for reading!  I know this was a pretty heavy post in comparison to others.  It's all coming from the same place, though - my heart.  ☺


Favorites of the day:
Jim Brickman
my nap with Charlie on the couch a little bit ago
having time to make a real meal tonight
Just Dance and time with friends

*EDIT: After reading this, I'd love for you to also read the following two posts:

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