Recently I read a book called “Driven by Eternity” by John Bevere. This book has had an amazing impact on my life and has forever changed the way I love and view the people around me. This revelation could not have come at a more perfect time…
Shortly after reading this book, I saw a girl at my gym making fun of a friend of mine for going to church. She went on about how Jesus was his only friend, she then began to mock Jesus. This astounded me!
I grew up in the south, or what is known as the Bible Belt so I’ve never experienced someone being so blatantly disrespectful to God! At first I was fired up and wanted to say something to her, but thankfully no words came to mind.
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I began to release my anger through my workout; great workout motivation! During my workout, I began to reflect on the book I just read and I started to pray for her. I realized that she may not have anyone who can speak love and grace into her life and she needed it!
I began to pray that she would encounter God and would serve and glorify Him for the rest of her days on earth, and that she would get to spend eternity with Him.
In Luke 9:51-56 we have a Biblical example of this…
51 As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. 52 And he sent messengers on ahead, who went into a Samaritan village to get things ready for him; 53 but the people there did not welcome him, because he was heading for Jerusalem. 54 When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?” 55 But Jesus turned and rebuked them. 56 Then he and his disciples went to another village.
In verse 54 James and John are so upset by these people’s behavior toward Jesus that they want to have this village and all its people killed and consumed in a fire from Heaven.
How condemning, how harsh, how final. Eternity is a long time.
I know we’ve all had times when we see family, friends or strangers sinning. Whether it be sexual immorality, drunkenness, idolatry, drugs or any other sin issue; our first reaction is judgment. We may say things like;
“I can’t believe they…”
“How could they…”
These statements are the exact opposite of how we should respond. As followers of Christ our only response should be love.
God’s desire is for us to pray for His mercy, the Holy Spirits conviction and for that person’s repentance and salvation. God is the ultimate judge, He needs no help from us. After all it is only a blood-stained cross that separates us from the lost.
Love People More and Judge Them Less
I challenge you to change your thought process. Next time you begin to judge someone or think negatively about them, pray for them instead! Pray for their salvation and for the Holy Spirit to do a work in them. This will change your life and the way you view all of God’s people!