Are we guilty of being too critical of others? Do we judge others based on our own personal standards, instead of God’s Word? Here are some questions to consider:
- Do you look down on others if they do not smile and joke around as much as you do?
- Do you look down on others if they buy something you personally would not buy? (though it is nothing sinful).
- Do you look down on others if they are not as energetic and outgoing as you?
- Do you look down on others if they do not exercise as much as you or follow the same type of diet you do?
- Do you look down on others if they do not clean or maintain their vehicles, house, or lawn exactly as you would?
- Do you look down on others if they do not discipline their children exactly as you would?
- Do you look down on others if they do not mourn their loved ones the same way you do?
- Do you look down on others if they do not have the same sense of humor as you?
- Do you look down on others if they read their Bibles, but not as much as you do?
- Do you look down on others if they do not do things exactly the way you do, even though either way is fine?
It has been said by those who are overly critical, “Well, I have always done X, so he should do X also,” or “I have always been able to do X, so he should be able to do X also.” If the matter being considered is a matter of personal judgment, not a matter of faith with clear Biblical instructions, then judgment on such matters should cease (Rom. 14). Beware of self-righteous pride, and remember that man has no authority to make laws where God has not (Dt. 4:2; Prov. 30:6; Mt. 7:1-6; 15:1-9; Lk. 18:10-14; Php. 2:3; Rev. 22:18-19).
The fact that everybody is different is obviously something God intended in His design of men and women. Variety makes this world more beautiful and interesting. We are not robots who all make the same choices and react to every event the same way, and we do not all have the same personality.
That said, the Gospel of Christ unifies Christians of all backgrounds so we can all be one, in spite of our external differences: “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:26-28). Because of the Gospel, we can (and must) all speak the same way when it comes to religious matters (1 Cor. 1:10-13; Php. 3:16; 2 Tim. 1:13; Titus 2:1; 1 Pet. 4:11). Christians all live by the same standard, which is God’s Word (Psa. 119:105; Mt. 4:4), but God has given man liberty to make his own choices in many matters. Christians must only judge others with righteous judgment, based on what God has clearly stated in His Word, not opinions or personal scruples (John 7:24; 12:48; Rom. 14; 16:17). Let us learn to forbear one another (put up with each other’s differences that are not sinful), and allow love to overlook any such differences! (Mt. 22:39; Eph. 4:2, 3; 1 Cor. 13:1-8; 16:14).