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?