Loving People Rather than Criticizing People
"Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor" -Romans 12:9-10.
With age comes more experience and with more experience comes more understanding. Lately I have been meeting many people from different backgrounds. Different social backgrounds, different cultural backgrounds, different religious backgrounds and etc.
Through my conversation and interactions with different people I am realizing more and more that I should not criticize what I do not understand.
I have been learning that often times people criticize others because they have not experienced the life the other person has. Especially Christians criticizing non-Christians and even fellow Christians.
As believers it is absolutely essential that we do life with non-believers. Our goal is not to convert them but rather to love them. Yes in our love for them we will share about our love for the Lord. About His great love but it is never to judge or to try to enforce our beliefs on people.
Nowadays I have been having the most spiritual conversations outside the walls of the church. In barbershops, Uber rides, old friends and random strangers I meet. So many of these people remind me of myself before I became a Christian. Their genuine desire to know if there is a god. Their desire to want to believe but yet do not have the evidence or confidence to fully yield to a specific religion. As I talk to them, I feel God’s presence and delight over our conversations and I pray that other Christians will be able to love and represent Christ well.
Also, I have been repenting a lot for the way I used to judge and talk about other Christians. By other I mean those who do not have same same theological and doctrinal beliefs as me. By others I mean those who do church and leadership differently than I do. As I meet many different pastors, leaders and Christians I am learning that I should never criticize what I do not understand. There is always a reason for why people do what they do.
I have been asking the Lord to deepen my capacity to love. To love people different from me. Not only to love and be around people who look like me, think like me and act like me. But many different type of people because God is the God of all nations, peoples and cultures. I pray that God would teach all Christians to love the world and especially the brethren.
I pray that God would help us not to judge and condemn other Christians for the way they worship. For the way they sing and dance. For the way certain pastors preach and do ministry. O may God give all of us a deeper capacity to love!