Do you really want to honor Jesus? Here is one way to do just that. Consider2 Corinthians 5:18-19And all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given to us the ministry of reconciliation; whereas God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and putting the word of reconciliation in us. Notice it says, “Whereas God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them.” Jesus said, “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but so that the world might be saved through Him” (John 3:17). We also know that He said to make disciples of people and nations (Matthew 28:19; Mark 16:15). If we don’t adhere to the principle of not imputing trespasses to them, we will fail to properly honor Jesus and carry out the Great Commission.
If we constantly judge others for their actions and attitudes, we will have a tough time revealing the love of God to them.
Are you easily offended, disgusted, or find you have no patience with people?
If you are, you haven’t zeroed in on love. 1 Peter 4:8And above all things have fervent love to yourselves, for love will cover a multitude of sins. Okay, maybe you can get past the bad behavior of others, but what about their attitudes? What would happen if we did not even hold the attitude of others against them? When Jesus walked the earth, He wasn’t holding people’s sins against them. He was seeking their repentance. It’s one thing to call someone out in love, so he or she does repent; versus, criticizing others out of self-righteousness. Even when we don’t say anything, generally others can tell if we’re being critical of them. As long as a person takes a self-righteous posture, he will never reach people for Jesus Christ. We are supposed to be His ambassadors (see 2 Corinthians 5:20); not judges of the world.
While we depend on God’s grace to walk in love and not hold people’s stuff against them, it still requires a decision on our part –sometimes daily. Jesus said, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me” (Matthew 16:24). We must humble ourselves enough to deny the self the “right” to be judgmental of others. Instead of saying, “Look what they did,” we might ask, “Why did they do that?” Yes, sinners sin, that’s what they do, they can’t help it. Nonetheless, even believers can have less than desirable attitudes and behavior. People, more often than not, don’t want to be unrighteous. We have to be able to get past the stuff, and find the root of the problem. We have to love them enough to call them to righteousness, instead of holding their unrighteous behavior or attitude against them. How do we do that? We love them where they are right now, and walk through life with them. Some people have not experienced God’s kind of love, but oh, once they do, watch out! Romans 2:4Or do you despise the riches of His kindness, and the forbearance and long-suffering, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance? Believe it or not, by loving people and being kind to them, in spite of their stuff, goes so much farther than calling them out on the carpet. Does that mean we never reprove anybody? Of course not, but it does mean love better be behind the reproving; otherwise, it would be best to be still.
That love begins with our love for God, which means we will be far more interested in what He has to say about the issues, than us taking issue with someone.
Make the decision to love people, and not hold any unrighteousness against them. See how much more influence you may have in their lives.