Sunday, January 23, 2011

Scripture & A Snapshot {Week 18}


Kids hugging

 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.
Galatians 5:14-15


This verse and many like it have been on my mind over the course of the past week. 
My faith and beliefs pertaining to who goes to heaven and who goes to hell were challenged.
...Not by an "unbeliever" but by our pastor and by my husband, through the book When Christians Get It Wrong, which is written by our pastor, Adam Hamilton.

My eyes were opened to just how judgmental Christians can be and often are. How we are so quick to point out who will go to hell, as if we were in charge of judging. So many of us are quick to point to homosexuals, to people in prison, to alcoholics, to people who abuse their spouse or children, as people who will automatically go to hell. 
Many times those people are told just that to their face, and many times much worse. 


Does that sound like Christian behavior to you?

Do you think Jesus would do that?


Growing up I had one main "Christian representative" in my life - he was judgmental, hypocritical, quick to anger, and quick to act out on that anger. One day we were talking about God and I told him that if he and his actions were the measure of a good Christian, then I didn't want to be one. That person was my dad. 
In the last 4 years we have mended our relationship, but we can't regain what's lost.

There are a lot of unbelievers out there who look at Christians and instead of seeing love for our neighbors, see hate for outsiders. They, as I was, are then put off from Christ and walk a long lonely path that will only take them in the wrong direction. Had they been shown love instead of intolerance and anger, perhaps they would explore what that guy, Jesus, is all about. 


We are not given authority to judge one's soul - we are commanded to share the Good News and love one another.

 Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ 
The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.”
Mark 12:29-31


“Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn others, or it will all come back against you. Forgive others, and you will be forgiven."
Luke 6:37

 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."
Matthew 7:1-2

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
John 13:34-35


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Want to join in this challenge?






24 comments:

  1. Awww...what a cute capture and sweet verse to match.

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  2. Love those grins! This bothers me, too, especially when notable groups begin their protests. How does that show the love of Christ?

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  3. What a great post, Katie! I think this judgmental state of mind is exactly what turns so many away from church. And hypocrisy goes hand in hand with that...Christians (and I sure have been guilty of this) are so quick to point out what is wrong in a person and preach about how they should act, but then they turn around and don't take their own advice. I can't tell you how many people I personally know who have turned away because of this.

    I grew up in a very legalistic environment, and it sounds like you did too. Thankfully, I learned about the GRACE of God. I am so grateful for it and know that ANYONE can experience it if they just believe!

    btw, I love your photo - so very cute! And that is a great verse to pair with siblings! Wouldn't it be great if they (and all of us, really) would always love each other as themselves?! ;)

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  4. What a great testimony Katie! I spend a lot of time rememveringand reminding myself that JEsus would have been hanging out with the what ever has been judged by present society to be the "wrong people" SO glad for healing for your relationship with your dad.. Blessings to you!

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  5. Beautiful post......really wonderful. I've always felt that if we put as much effort into loving each other as we do into condemning each other, we'd all have a lot more to smile about!

    Love the photo too...
    My kids do great with loving thy neighbor as themselves.....they struggle more with loving thy sibling as themselves!

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  6. What adorable little faces! I too find myself judging and then remember it's my place to help, not judge. I have that internal talk a lot at work. I figure out the blog hop part this week. Happy Sunday!

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  7. Suck cute kiddos. Thanks so much for hosting. :)

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  8. I love this shot of your kids. And thank you for this post. Gosh this is exactly what I needed. For I have a situation that has to do with this exactly. Family issues. My sister is saved but is on the legalistic side I feel and my dad and stepmother are not. We are praying for them but it is hard. And this christmas brought up some past stuff that needs to be resolved in love. Thanks for this post.

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  9. Brother & Sisterly Love ~ how can they see Jesus in us, when we are not abiding in HIM.

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  10. Beautifully shared - my heart aches for you and others (including myself) who have received such harsh judgment from others who may or may not be Christians. May our lives reflect His grace, mercy, and most importantly His love.

    The children are adorable with such joy in their expressions!

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  11. This post is a great reminder! I try to remember this every day, but it never hurts to be reminded.

    Great photo of the kids!

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  12. Beautiful shot Katie and I'm glad that you are mending your relationship with your father. I am always cautious that I don't point the finger at other people in a judgemental way as there are always 2 fingers pointing back at me. Sin is sin no matter what type of sin it is.

    Rosie

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  13. I was just studying this same thing this week! The thing brought to my attention was that little word "as". To not just want for others what we want for ourselves, but to pursue that for them AS we would for ourselves. That should really change how I love others!

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  14. Such a cute shot of your kids! Do they always act all sweet like that??? lol!

    And yes -- how true it is that we aren't to judge a person's heart. Only God knows whats in a person's heart and what their true motivations are. We are to love, pray and help others - but we are to still hate the sin!

    Sadly, the few "hateful Christians" out there really give the world the impression that all of us are like that, when in fact, most (lots) aren't. Thank God he loves us anyway, and can still touch people's hearts despite our failures.

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  15. Yes I agree Katie - we must tread very carefully on other's hearts!
    Only the Lord has the right to be harsh-and He only does it in love - we on the other hand...
    often don't!
    Great words and wonderful photos of your cuties!
    blessings..Trish

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  16. While it is true that unbelievers are condemned to hell, it is also true that we are commanded to bring the good news of salvation, in love, to them. Your photo is a great reflection of that love and joy.

    Blessings,
    Christine

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  17. Love love love this! Your adorable lil babes, but with all you shared with what the Lord is working on you with. It really is sometimes that we can be our own worst enemies in winning people to Christ... or more often pushing them away. Beautiful verses and wonderful food for thought. Thank you so much for sharing! God Bless.

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  18. This message speaks volumes to me and it's something I have struggled with as a Christian myself. I left my family's church year's ago to pursue a more meaningful relationship with God. I too, had heard years of judgment and anger from my parents (I love them deeply, but we do disagree on many levels). I didn't understand how someone that considered themselves Christian would hate another person because they had differences. I do believe that through my relationship with Christ, I will live an eternal life in Heaven...but, I have no business determining the fate of others. It's much like my post today... if we are truly seeking wisdom, we will look to the Lord. Until then, we are simply fools who keep doing the same thing over and over again until we've literally hit rock bottom. Great message Katie!

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  19. Excellent post! Thanks for sharing this challenge.

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  20. Nice thoughts. I have often said that we will be very surprised to see who really ends up in heaven. :)

    Thanks for stopping by my blog.

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  21. Yeay!! I finally was able to post a picture:)
    I've been wanting to create a scripture picture-but haven't had the time...

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