"Welcome with open arms fellow believers who don’t see things the way you do. And don’t jump all over them every time they do or say something you don’t agree with— even when it seems that they are strong on opinions but weak in the faith department. Remember, they have their own history to deal with. Treat them gently.
For instance, a person who has been around for a while might well be convinced that he can eat anything on the table while another, with a different background, might assume all Christians should be vegetarians and eat accordingly. But since both are guests at Christ’s table wouldn’t it be terribly rude if they fell to criticizing what the other ate or didn’t eat? God, after all, invited them both to the table. Do you have any business crossing people off the guest list or interfering with God’s welcome? If there are corrections to be made or manners to be learned, GOD CAN HANDLE THAT WITHOUT YOUR HELP.” - Romans 14:1-4 Message Remix
I came across this passage today, and it really struck a chord. This is honestly how I try to live my life, and I wanted to share this with fellow believers and non-believers alike. I can’t tell you how many people in my family and in my daily life have criticized the way I live. They make nasty comments about my hair, question where I go to church and who I hang out with; they freak out at any mention of tattoos and worry that I’m falling by the wayside simply because I live my life to a different taste. This is not how Christ has called us to live. It is simply enough for me to know Christ— the way I choose to live the life he’s given me is not any one else’s place to judge. Christ has placed something within me that is different than what may be in another. Let us not bicker with one another over fickle things. One day we both shall kneel before the father in judgement.
I have friends who have tattoos. I have friends who aren’t virgins. I have friends who cuss and friends who don’t. I have friends and even family who’ve chosen a homosexual lifestyle. I associate with people who have multiple body piercings and pink hair. I have friends who get drunk on a weekly basis. I also have friends and family alike who don’t like alcohol. I have people in my life averse to tattoos and piercings. I know people who won’t even cut their hair because they think it sinful. And you know what? I love each and every one of them WITHOUT judgement because that is what Christ has called me to do. We are not here evaluate how another follows Christ. We are here to understand each other through God’s eyes, and love from the center of who we are. So today, hug that person who believes differently from you. Let them know you love them as a fellow brother/sister in Christ. Despite our differences, all of us have the same thing in common: We are bathed in the blood of Jesus Christ, and to our Father we are washed clean.