Posted by: Diane | September 4, 2013

God Knows Our Heart

I’m still thinking about Alice Cooper today. Well, not so much about Alice Cooper himself but rather, about being judged by our behavior.

How often I have heard people say, “Oh, so and so can’t be a Christian – look at what he/she is doing.” I have also heard this kind of conversation between Christians:

“Is he/she a Christian? 

“I don’t think so. He does ___________. (a behavior)

I struggle with the ease at which Christians assess other people’s relationship with God.  I have also been guilty of this kind of judgment.

I asked Jesus in my heart when I was fourteen years old. I am very sure of my salvation and I have never wavered about this because I believe my name is written in the Book of LIfe.  However, I have experienced changes in my personal convictions as I’ve grown in my faith.

The more I’ve grown spiritually, the less rules there are in my walk with God. In my immaturity, the rules seemed to provide a safe boundary and they dictated my behaviour. In the Christian culture that I grew up in during my university days, there were clearly things that Christians did and did not do. It was acceptable to judge others by their behavior and unfortunately, it was done on a regular basis. Commitment was questioned when we didn’t regularly attend Bible Study and our time management skills were challenged if we prioritized our studies over campus activities and conferences. There was a tendency to quickly “size up” people’s salvation by their behavior. It was important to act like a Christian.  Behavior was the key. This wasn’t necessarily taught but it was definitely “caught.” 

Thankfully, God is transforming my mind.

Please don’t get me wrong – I fully believe that there are beautiful, holy absolutes in the Christian faith – but for years, I have been untangling that which is biblical from that which is merely cultural. I desire to honor God with my life but I don’t believe it’s all about behavior.

This morning, I read a simple, yet profound truth in the bible.

Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.”  2 Timothy 2.19 NIV

The Lord knows who are His.

On one hand, I don’t need to be assured of anyone’s salvation but my own. God certainly doesn’t need my help in determining who belongs to Him. He knows. His ways and His thoughts are so much greater than mine (Isaiah 55.9) and His judgment is sound.

On the other hand, I am called to “go” and share the love of Christ with others. The Great Commission (Matthew 28: 18-20) is not a suggestion. The Lord has commanded us to put our faith into action.  We are called to care about the souls of others – BUT that care does not involve judgment. Judgment is His, not ours.

Our sinful nature makes it so much easier and quicker to categorize people by their behavior – the temptation is always there but spiritual growth is about loving others, not judging them. It is life-giving to obey the word of God – the biblical absolutes are magnificent and freeing truths but the manmade rules are merely chaff, that do not stand the test of time – nor do they glorify God.

Ultimately, only God knows our heart.

No, O people, the LORD has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6.8 NIV

don't judge others

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