Religion promotes nearsightedness. I used to be nearsighted when it came to my judging of others. And maybe I still am to some extent. Every religious person wants to have 20/20 vision of others but all they’re seeing or noticing is what’s on the surface, what’s up close. They don’t and can’t know what’s in the heart. They don’t and can’t feel others’ pains. They don’t and can’t see others’ struggles. So they’re left with judging others by whatever is showing up on the surface.
As my Lord, Jesus, once said:
“You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7:5)
In our relationship as brothers and sisters in Christ, children of God by grace through faith, it is the safest thing to do to give each other distance and not quickly invade each other’s space. Even when the most intimate affairs are being shared with us by others, it is a cry for help, not an occasion to cast stones and cause them to stumble. And we know that in all situations and circumstance, only God is our helper.
If you’re part of a congregation and everyone wants to know the affairs of your life as a way to profile you or measure you, tell them the affairs of your eternal life: that Christ died, was buried and was resurrected for you and that alone is enough for you and for them.
Congregations find it hard to love and rejoice with one another, forgive each other because they’re always looking for the wrong reason to do so. As Christians, if we ever do anything it is to remember Christ.
Eating the bread and drinking the wine are not the only thing we are to do in remembrance of Christ. Our whole new life in Christ is in remembrance of Christ. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Christ, the person who moved Christ in all our being to be our new life and help us remember Christ.
“Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 2:1-5)
We don’t have as goal to copy one another or provoke one another. But we have as a commandment to rejoice, to live freely as Christ, to love one another as God loves us. It’s all good. Isn’t it? And may God by his grace, by the power that raised Jesus from the dead, help us to do just that, for his glory and the glory of His Son, Jesus. Amen.
My holiness is not in what I do or say, but in Christ. My holiness is Christ in me.