When confronted with Christians who hold different views from us on a wide range of issues – from the nuclear arms’ race to baptism in the Holy Spirit or the second coming of Christ – we are presented with a wonderful opportunity to check the true motives and desires of our hearts. If, for example, personal opinions about music, clothes, or politics hinder us from relating to a fellow Christian, then we are forced to conclude that our opinions are more important to us than our fellowship with another brother in Christ.
Sadly, around the world today, many Christians have become so entrenched in their own opinions that they have refused the unity found in the cross of Christ, with all the healing and acceptance which that brings.
IT is not wrong to have differing opinions on a matter, but it is wrong to allow these opinions to divide us.
In the essentials let there be unity, in the nonessentials let there be liberty, and in all things let there be charity.
In 1 Corinthians 15:1-5, Paul lists those doctrinal issues he considers to be of “first importance,” or essential to the Christian faith.
- Christ died for our sins.
- He is the Christ of the Old Testament Scriptures, which means He is the Son of God.
- He was raised on the third day and appeared to the disciples.
Just because people from other groups fail to dress or act according to “our” standards doesn’t mean they are less of a Christian. We have been saved by grace through faith so that no one may boast. No body does Christianity better than anybody. Every now and then, we need to check our hearts every time we come to a point where we question a Christian’s actions or decisions because he or she is not doing it the way all the members of your group do it.
Today, I shall begin teaching myself not to look at a Christian based on actions alone. I shall begin to see every Christian as someone who is loved by Him who has loved me too. Every person has faults but that should not hinder me from acknowledging the fact that the person has received Christ and no matter how superficially inconsistent his or her actions are to whatever personal standards I have, I shall bear in mind that God is not yet finished with each one of us. That each one of us is still undergoing the process of becoming a person that God wants us to be.