Chances are we all could write a book about trying to live holy. The fact is we all have fallen short in many “different” ways, based on our backgrounds and life orientation. The old timers who went through the Great Depression and saw the big banks fail often hide money in their mattresses and can goods in the garage. I might be inclined to call it hoarding or not trusting the Lord to provide for the future because I didn’t live through those uncertain times. The parents that have had a daughter raped or a child severely bullied advocate home schooling and are very paranoid about strangers coming around. I might be inclined to say they lack faith in God’s awesome promise to protect his people and keep the enemy away. But they have seen the other side.
Here’s the thing. Our human nature has a tendency to categorize these attitudes as unholy, or byproducts derived from a lack of faith. Christ’s mandate to love each other takes a back seat to finger-pointing and criticism and ultimately a declaration of righteous superiority. We look in the mirror and tell ourselves we are so much better than that.
And yet, the new covenant mandate of love suggests we try to walk in our brother’s shoes and discover the source of his desperation and then ask God to equip us with the right message for conversion and growth.
If you’ve ever wondered what makes a person tick, it’s his or her belief system. If he believes a hurricane is coming in, he’ll go out and spend money on window boards, flashlights, batteries and water. But if he does believe he’ll see no need to take action.
People are surprisingly predictable, based on their beliefs. A person who believes there is no hereafter, no chance for being held accountable, will feel free to do most anything to others as long as they don’t get caught. So even a false church that instills a concept of heaven and hell into a person is better than no church at all.
In Mark 9 we find this scripture …“Teacher,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.”
And Jesus said LEAVE THEM ALONE.
So I asked this question: Which would you rather work around? A devout Muslim who believed in living a righteous life and prays to Allah three times a day. Or a cut throat heathen that would just as soon get you fired or put on a mask and rob you in the parking lot?
Stop beating these people down. Live right in front of them and you’ll get a chance to witness. God changes us from the inside out. These (not-as-holy-as-you) creations of God can decide whether they want to come to the other side. Meanwhile, LEAVE THEM ALONE.