What Are 3 Things Some Christians Do Wrong?
Do some Christians act judgmental, exclusive, or downright mean? Sadly, yes. Jesus must shake His head in sadness when this happens.
One of my favorite pastors recently wrote a daily devotional about the top, most google-searched negative traits about Christians, and it inspired this article. Christians cannot spread the Good News if they are not good examples! They are talking the talk, but not walking the walk!
I realize I have plenty of character flaws of my own to work on… But these three negative traits from Christians I trusted, have victimized me and my children in the past, and it hurt. It will be cathartic to write about it! Thank you for “listening”.
I picked these three traits, judgment, exclusivity and meanness, on which to focus my writing today, especially since I painfully watched our middle daughter, at age 15, experience the first one.
“People judge by outward appearances, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7 (NIV)https://connectusfund.org/1-samuel-16-7-meaning-of-man-looks-at-the-outward-appearance I think human nature must be guarded against, as most of us automatically put people in boxes even though we don’t know them. And our own society can be toxic this way. Where do you live? What do you do? How do you look? Some Christians can allow these arbitrary criteria to dictate a first impression.
Who are we mere humans to judge someone else? If we point a finger at another, guess what? We have three other fingers pointing directly back at us!
No one is better than anyone else; we are all equals, beloved by God, no matter what circumstances we are in, or what we have achieved. There is no pecking order among God’s people!
Our Daughter’s Harsh Experience With Judgment
When our daughter, Caroline, enrolled in Christian Homeschool High School courses at a nearby church, we immediately got a weird vibe from the group. The teacher, while smart and experienced, was gruff and abrupt, not welcoming at all. The other moms were standoffish.
After lunch, the teens all took a little break on the playground equipment. Being an acrobat, my teen hung upside down on the bars for a few seconds. One mother accused Carrie of being immodest, as her shirt slid upwards about one inch, due to gravity. One inch! Not even to her belly button!
We felt absolutely shunned after this, feeling as if they wanted to paint a scarlet letter on Carrie’s chest. Geez.
During the next between-class break, the mothers questioned me about why I was working outside the home. “Um, so we can make our mortgage?” Was our financial situation any of these mothers’ business?
Needless to say, our daughter did not stay long in that “Christian” Program. She found another kinder, gentler Christian high school organization. Thank God.
“Do not judge and you will not be judged. Do not condemn and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven.” Luke 6:37 (NIV) https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+6%3A37-38&version=NIV
All are welcome in God’s Kingdom. Our culture, and a few Christians in it – look at the exterior– looks, career, size of home-but God gives us value simply because we are all masterpieces He created, even if we have a face full of zits, we work at a smelly garbage dump, and live in a hovel!
For nine years, we and our three daughters lived in a very affluent area of the country, which downright bludgeoned our bank account. (My husband and I were blessed, though, to have met some fantastic, lifelong friends there). We had moved for my octogenarian mother, who was thrice a cancer survivor but became legally blind. We did all her driving, and that sweetheart fed us when we were broke!
Our daughters never truly fit into the area, with their Christian peers quite unaware about money. These kids were constantly planning high-dollar activities. When our kids demurred due to lack of funds, their friends looked at them like they had two heads. Next time our kids were simply not invited. True Christian friends would’ve been willing to plan cheaper or free events for get-togethers.
These upper-echelon friends stayed to themselves and excluded our girls.
The Pharisees, so exclusive, always loved arguing about what Jesus was doing, and who He spent time with. I love how Jesus always hung out with everyone. It didn’t matter to him where anyone came from or what they had done. He just loved them. “As Jesus reclined at table in the house, many sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples.” Matthew 9:10https://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/gills-exposition-of-the-bible/matthew-9-10.html
Hurtful comments among Christians are so sad. Knowledge of Jesus is so much more important than being “right”! I’ve seen “cancel culture”, and it is so not necessary! We are all capable of discussing our views and listening to each other.
Once I took my boyfriend and his sister to midnight mass. Those two had not been raised in any kind of faith, and I was hoping they might be moved by the beauty of that night’s celebration of Jesus’ birth. As we settled into our pew, I explained a few things about our church they inquired about. The woman in front of us, who sang in the choir with my mother, turned around with a scowl and told us to shut up! “You are NEVER, EVER supposed to talk in church!” I was not only mortified, I was also angry. How dare she ruin our glorious evening? My guests were turned off completely, and yep, they never entered that sanctuary again!
“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Proverbs 15:1 https://enduringword.com/bible-commentary/proverbs-15/#:~:text=Proverbs%2015%3A1&text=A%20soft%20answer%20turns%20away%20wrath%3A%20When%20people%20come%20to,can%20actually%20turn%20away%20wrath.
“But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander…” Colossians 3:8 https://dailyverse.knowing-jesus.com/colossians-3-8
How to Do it Better
How can Christians share Jesus with anyone, if they are judgmental, exclusive and mean? They can’t.
Jesus wants us to be accepting, inclusive and kind, no matter what. After all, our goal is to try to become more like Him, as best as we can, despite our human limitations.
“I am love that transcends all boundaries and is available to all people.” Love, God