Easy Wins or Baby and Bathwater
Recently I had one of those strange moments. I had seen something that made me think that it was not something that I would do. What it was isn’t important. What is important is that the reason I felt that I wouldn’t do the same was because it wasn’t a very “Christian” thing to do.
Immediately after that thought, it occurred to me that if were to mention that to someone, they might respond with something like, “Yeah, well…you do ______, and that’s not a very ‘Christian’ thing to do.” I wonder if you might have thought the very same thing, though you may not have had a specific issue in mind since you don’t know me personally. Still, you might be thinking something like, “I’ll be you do other things that aren’t very Christian. Isn’t it kind of hypocritical to say you wouldn’t do _____ because you’re a Christian?”
To be honest, I’ve probably thought things like that about other people before. Heck, I probably still do from time to time. But, as I got to thinking about this sort of thing, I couldn’t help but wonder…shouldn’t we take those quick, easy wins when we can? If we are able to avoid a particular sin with relative ease, should we not just find joy in the fact that we do not struggle with obedience in that area?
Sure, there are areas that all of us struggle. There are areas that all of us find easy to be obedient to God’s will. If we rejoice in the easy wins, it takes us a step down the road of sanctification. What is the alternative? Should we, instead, just not bother trying to avoid sin that we could easily avoid just because there are other sins we find more difficult to avoid? What would the result of that mentality be?
If we take that position, we might as well just throw our faith out the window and live like heathens. No point in doing one thing right unless we can do it all right. Right? What a world that would be. I get the feeling that this mentality would be worse than the Old Testament times when everyone “did what was right in his own eyes.”
At least they were doing what they thought was right. They may have had some weird ideas of what was right or wrong, but I still think it was better than “everyone did terrible things because they couldn’t do everything right so they didn’t bother to try to do anything right.”
The fact is, Romans 3:23 tells us that we are all sinners. That means every one of us. Experience tells us that we all struggle with sins differently than everyone else. While one guy may struggle with lust or porn, another guy may not have a problem avoiding that, but is very materialistic and greedy. Every one of us is unique. We all have areas where it seems relatively easy to obey God and other areas that we seem to constantly fall down. That doesn’t mean that we should just give ourselves over to a life of depravity.
The next part, and perhaps the harder part, of this is how we respond to others who may not find it so easy to avoid the same sins we do. Typically, if you’re anything like me, you probably judge them just a little bit. But, we have to remember that just because we don’t struggle with that particular sin, doesn’t mean someone else finds it so easy to avoid. Let’s remember that we probably struggle with some other sin that the person we’re judging would look at us with the same judgement for (unless the sin they easily avoid is…being judgmental).
How about this…Next time you see someone who is a professed Christian doing something that is decidedly unChristian, let’s just pray for them. Pray that God would give them the strength to overcome the temptation to behave that way. Pray that they would win their struggle and overcome their temptation. Pray that they would find away to avoid being in the situation that leads to such temptation. Just pray for them.
If even 50% of us were to do that instead of judging each other, how much better would the world be as a result, do you think? There are reportedly two billion Christians in the world, of one denomination or another. That would be a billion people who pray rather than judge. Think that would make any difference?
Have you struggled with this kind of judgment? Have you in the past and now have overcome it? Share your thoughts and ideas on how we can overcome this judgmental attitude and be more loving and accepting with each other.
Grace, love and peace.