Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Dealing with people who judge you

1 Corinthians 13
4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

The word "charity" in the Greek language (in the language these verses were originally written) is "agape". Agape can be translated to also mean "love". This is why many translations of the Bible use the word "love" rather than "charity" here. Our definition of charity, on the other hand, tends to mean "giving" or "to give". In a way, this fits, too. When you give love, these verses tell you how to give. Therefore, if you really want to minister to new-born Christians, these verses tell you what it is that they will respond to the most; or, rather, how to be the example of Christ you are called to be.

Many of those who abide in the world are turned off of Christianity because of Christians who have not learned how to be the example that Christ has called them to be. These are those in the church that are critical of what you wear, where you work, who you are seen with, or even how you talk. They are the ones you will see giggling with their faces hid behind a home-made fan, or excusing themselves to run and tell another what they just heard about you. They, who have unknowingly chosen to live in the Old Testament, have not learned what the word "charity" means, and have forgotten what the first commandment about busybodies and those who gossip is:

Leviticus 19
14 Thou shalt not curse the deaf, nor put a stumblingblock before the blind, but shalt fear thy God: I [am] the LORD.
15 Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honour the person of the mighty: [but] in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbour.
16 Thou shalt not go up and down [as] a talebearer among thy people: neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy neighbour: I [am] the LORD.
17 Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him.
18 Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I [am] the LORD.

This is the first time in the Bible that you see the phrase "love thy neighbor as thyself", in case you were wondering where Jesus got that.

So, when you find yourself as a victim of meddlers, just smile at them. If you want to, you might even go and put your arm around them and say something like, "I am so sorry you are having difficulty with conquering the sin of judgment. I will pray for you, that God will give you wisdom in such matters, and that He will forgive you for your mistake. I do." Furthermore, don't lose heart. Just remember:

Romans 5
8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

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