A Test of True Spiritual Health

True spiritual health can be measured by our relationship wit other individuals. How willing are we to really reach out to those who may be a little "different", or do not always measure up to our expectations? We may never say it, but could we be guilty of "respect of persons" (James 2:1)? Romans 15:7 tells us we are to receive each other the same way Christ has received us. That should be a humbling thought. 

How did Christ receive us? For one thing, He received us in love. John 15:12 and 13 gives us the command to sacrificially love each other the way Christ loves us. He has set the example, and we as supposed Christ imitators are to follow. No matter how unlovely, our job is to love.

We are receive each other unconditionally. Not only did Jesus spend His time with His beloved disciples, Lazarus, and others, but He was constantly accused of spending time with "publicans and sinners" (Luke 15:2). We too, must be willing to spend time with those that are lost, remembering that but for the grace of God we might be in the same position. Remember also that we are sinners--saved by that same grace. Let me also add that no matter how bad things might seem to be, there is always a worse position we could be in.

We should receive each other with patience and comfort (Romans 15:1-5). Our objective should be to please others and lift them up. We will find pleasure in exhibiting this Christ-like characteristic not only to the "household of faith", but to the lost as well. Patience seems to be a lost virtue today and will be well received by those around us.

Our fellow man should be received with service. Jesus washed the feet of His disciples and then said, "For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done" (John 15:13). Paul tells us that we are to have the mind of Christ and to take on the form of a servant (Philippians 2:5-8). Our Christianity is only as good as our service to others. James says, "...shew me thy  faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works (James 2: 18b). Sharing our faith with others is the greatest service we can do for anybody. Why not start there and let the Lord enrich your life through service?

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Comments 18 comments

RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey

Very important points to make and keep as our own--we are constantly in danger of being respecters of persons because of our own sinfulness. Thanks for a good reminder that Believers always need!

Have been having some trouble with the word "unconditional," though. It is too often misused by people who want to be accepted in spite of rebellion, divisiveness, lies, etc. The church needs to be warning these according to Scripture...it cost a great deal for Jesus to become our Atonement. While He is willing to forgive--not willing that any should perish--forgiveness is not unconditional...I know that this is off your main topic here, sorry.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 6 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

RT,

Thanks for your comment. Forgiveness of sin is not a "given" for sure, but Christ still loves the sinner and so should we. I believe there is a difference between hating the sin, but continuing to love the sinner in spite of Himself. I thank God for never giving up on me.


Debradoo profile image

Debradoo 6 years ago from Cocoa, Florida

Great hub and lesson in Christian living, Lifegate. And I also enjoyed reading what RTalloni pointed out about 'unconditional' and 'forgiveness' and those that desire to remain in sin while expecting the Christian to remain passive and accepting of their behaviors.


"Quill" 6 years ago

Hate the sin but love the person is something I think we all struggle with at one time or another. Even after the sin has been revealed and it continues I think is where I struggle the most and live in trying not to judge... God knows all and in all things He will be known.

Blessings and Hugs


lifegate profile image

lifegate 6 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Debradoo,

Thanks for stopping by. It's always good good to hear from you.

Quill,

I agree. It's a struggle. Thanks for checking in, Brother.


Belmo profile image

Belmo 6 years ago

Perhaps we can look at it differently. The sin exists so that choice may be revealed. How can you be good with only good choices to make? In the world we live in duality is present in all things. Male-female, left-right, north pole and south, sinner and saint--you get the idea.

Why hate the sin? Does it not provide you with the ability to define yourself and where you would like to go? Is the sin that you hate not part of your unique road map in life? Just think of what free will you would have if there were no sin? You would have none. This is not how the Creator has set things up. From the beginning of humanity--in fact on our very first opportunity, according to the bible, we made a choice. Not a sin but a choice. This is all we can do in life--choose.

I am not a christian or any defined category, but Jesus sure lived a great demonstration of not hating, not condemning, not judging, living free, with no job, no property, title or land.

In my opinion it was not any one group that killed him, but it was our fear to be like him that called for his death. It is much easier for us to define ourselves by condemning others. Yet if you really think about it, condemning what we see as sin, hurts us. Without sinners we would have no way to define who we are and to evolve, without sin we would not be able to overcome and refine ourselves into the diamonds of life. Without evil there could be no good and without the devil there could be no god.

It is only by our hearts and souls that we can overcome the thinking of duality. When we see all as the useful loving actions of the Creator we will be able to live in peace. As long as there is something to hate and judge, we will stay in the space of duality.

In the book of Thomas, Jesus says this about our denial of the perfect playing field god has made.

"If the flesh came into being because of the spirit, that is a marvel. If the spirit comes into being because of the flesh, this is a marvel above marvels, yet I marvel at how much poverty has come to dwell in such wealth."

We are not sinful but are perfect beings.


cristina327 profile image

cristina327 6 years ago from Manila

Great hub with great thoughts to ponder about. This hub serves as a great reminder for me regarding doing ministry for the Lord how we should relate to other people. Thank you for sharing these timely admonitions from God's Word. Remain blessed always and best regards.


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey

Even today, God has not given up on me, praise His Name! I thank Him that He keeps "my sin ever before me" for I surely need His daily cleansing. I am thankful that indeed the Lord Jesus is my Righteous Judge and that He has not left me to my own thinking, my own devices, which could never be enough to atone. I am also thankful for His Word that is my daily Judge, convicting of sin and self, directing if I humbly bow before it, sustaining through this earthly journey. But unconditional is not the case where sin and those who claim to be Believers are concerned, not for me or anyone else.

Still, the thrust of lifegate's hub above these comments is absolutely correct. It is true that we should receive the unsaved unconditionally, without judgement on them, but with compassion on the grip that sin has on their hearts and mind, with concern that they are blinded by the enemy of God and in need of what only Jesus can provide. And even a brother in Christ caught up in sin should be approached that way.

I have concerns about using the word unconditional, as I have seen too often lately, with a "brother" that is clearly unrepentant about rebellion to God's Word, divisive among churches in trying to justify sin, even telling outright lies--blinded by their own sin to the point of urgently needing the church to stand against the sins, but some churches refusing to do so, instead, accepting them unconditionally in spite of the harm they do to themselves and others--sometimes even physical harm!


lcg4jc profile image

lcg4jc 6 years ago

Thank you lifegate for your words of Truth. I am an avid believer that in order for believers to emanate Christ's love to the world we must constantly be in communion with Him through the Holy Spirit that abides in us. His presence fills us with the ability to love those whom are deemed unloveable. I understand well the concept of loving the sinner, hating the sin, during 16 years of my marriage I lived learning this lesson. I learned to separate the one from the other. I loved my husband (the person) but hated the things he would do (sin). He received Jesus as Lord and Savior in 2000. He is still what I consider a baby Christian but I am thankful for his acknowledgement and acceptance of Christ as Lord and Savior. Through this experience the Lord taught me how this needs to be extended to all mankind in order that they may come to the full understanding of Christ and His love.

Again many thanks brother for your hub.

Blessings to you and yours always


Abrushing1968 profile image

Abrushing1968 6 years ago from USA- Florida

LifeGate:

Well said bro. Sharing the gospel is more effective when we show our faith by our good works. Works and faith go hand and hand. Jesus taught us that how we treat others reflect on our relationship with Him.

"When you do for the least of these, you do unto me."

Good hub bro

In Christ

ABR


daydreamer13 profile image

daydreamer13 6 years ago

Very nice. Great message here!


JeanieR profile image

JeanieR 6 years ago from Sequoia National Forest, CA

Great point made here. And, service can be as simple as a genuine smile and some warm words recognizing the person addressed. I make a point to do this every time I go out. Reactions from people have convinced me that there are quite a few folks who rarely here a friendly, encouraging word.


Belmo profile image

Belmo 6 years ago

Thank you for allowing my post. I have heard some words on salvation that I do not necessarily agree with. Perhaps you will visit my hub at Belmo. I am VERY new to this so I hope you can view what I have written about salvation.

Much love


tinamarie9884 6 years ago

Lifegate, What a great hub you have put out. All of my neighbors are from Africa, india, Asia, Iran and Iraq, and some others, I get along with everyone no matter where I am or where I go. I was not always like this though but, I am now. My faith is very strong. I will for ever owe my thanks to GOD. Many blessings to you.


Pastor_Walt profile image

Pastor_Walt 6 years ago from Jefferson City, Tennessee

A lot of truth here. I believe our faith becomes stronger as we accept others for who they are. I can respect and still not agree. Unconditional love is the pattern of Christ.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 6 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Pastor,

Yes, unconditional love is certainly the pattern. Sometimes that calls for tough love as well.


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 6 years ago from Central United States of America

I expected a list of 'test questions' here.

Your first sentence grabbed me! True. And my daily struggle is to reach out/confront/encourage, ACT in the RIGHT way. And don't/can't do it alone.

Thanks for your encouragement here.


DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

DeBorrah K. Ogans 5 years ago

Samsons, Nice encouraging hub! We ALL have been "SAVED" by the Grace of God! We ALL need a Savior! Therefore we must share the goodness of God! We KNOW that having Jesus Christ in our lives makes all the differnce in the world! As you stated: "Sharing our faith with others is the greatest service we can do for anybody. Why not start there and let the Lord enrich your life through service?" Amen!

Thank you for sharing, In HIS Love, Grace, Peace, Joy, & Blessings!

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