I cannot believe that they think it is okay to drink that much!
I cannot believe they don’t ever give!
I cannot believe she wore that!
I cannot believe he still smokes!
I cannot believe they live together, they aren’t even married yet!
I cannot believe he looks at that stuff on the internet!
I cannot believe she brought her girlfriend to church!
I cannot believe that he has so many Muslim friends!
It seems like once you become a Christian, believing stuff get’s really hard. It is as if we can believe that a homeless Middle-Eastern Jew who hung out with hookers and crooks was, in fact, the Son of God but we cannot fathom that regular broken human beings could possibly do anything we don’t agree with. Sure, I understand that we believe that these feelings are based around our love for God and a desire to see others enjoy the same relationship that we do, but let’s get real for a minute: they are about us feeling better about ourselves.
Even as I sit here, writing about this I am literally doing the exact same thing. Yes, there are a lot of people out there who judge others in ways that I truly believe Jesus would have wanted to slap them for, but aren’t I judging them too? The Bible is pretty clear on this point: “Who are you to judge your neighbor?” (James 4:12) That’s why Jesus never focused on judging others. I know that He called some Pharisees a brood of vipers and that He flipped tables and talked about cutting off a fruitless vine but that ‘s not what He taught.
He taught His disciples (and us) to love their neighbor as themselves; He taught them (and us) that if anyone takes their coat, to hand over their shirt as well; He taught them (and us) to love their enemies and pray for the people that persecute them. He taught that we should care for those in society who cannot care for themselves and that we should be a voice for the voiceless. He taught that His kingdom is upside down. That the last shall be the first and that leadership rests in service. All of His teaching, as it related to others was focused on this ridiculous, incomprehensible love that seemed foolish to everyone else. It seemed to apply more to those who didn’t love us than those who did. You see, the thing about loving people who don’t love you back is that you start to realize that the power in it, the joy, was never in what you get back. It breaks you free of this world and sets you apart to change lives.
That means that what I want, my goals and dreams, ARE NOT the ultimate guideline for my decisions.