The best definition of a Christian is a follower of Jesus. It is a person who has claimed Christ as their Lord and Savior and is trying to live in the shadow of the cross.
Lately, I have read numerous posts on all types of media stating that someone is not a Christian if they say or do this particular thing. Judgment runs rampant in the Christian community, and it is tearing us apart.
I want everyone to know; I am still trying to follow Jesus …
1. Even when we disagree. You have heard it said, “We will have to agree to disagree.” There is an element of truth to that statement. In matters of opinion, it is okay to be on the different side of the fence. I think of the 12 disciples. One was a zealot and another a tax collector. Two people on completely different sides of the political spectrum. Even in Christ, we can disagree and still keep the faith.
2. Even when I am wrong. There are moments in my life that I look back on in which I was utterly wrong. Of course, I believed I was right when it was happening. Then I learned the truth and found out I was incorrect in my understanding. At times like that, I can choose to walk the way of Jesus or I can deny him with my words. I can place blame on others, make excuses and offer up half-hearted acceptance of my actions. I believe I have another choice when I find that I am wrong.
3. Even when you are wrong. This might be the most challenging place to remain a follower of Jesus. When I am sure that I am right, and I am also sure that you are wrong, evil finds an open door to my heart. Pride stirs inside me. Anger comes inside me. Hatred and malice are knocking at the door. It is tough to be correct in a godly manner. Jesus is able to find the balance between truth and instruction throughout his life. As a follower of him, I must seek to be a light that does not burn but reveals.
Yes, we need to stand up for Jesus and make sure people are headed in the right direction. Yes, we need to confront evil and be an agent for positive change. Yes, some views are wrong, and people need to be taught.
But the way we disagree is essential. Can we promote the way of Jesus in a way that dishonors him? I think it is possible to have different views without resorting to evil methods of persuasion.
Following Jesus is seen in the way we handle our differences as well as our similarities.