Sadly there are people who will never come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, not because of the world’s influences, but because of the influence of people who claim to be Christian.
In my life I’ve come across people who know how to smile, can quote bible scriptures by memory and purport to love God with all their heart, soul, mind and strength. Why then do these same people gossip, offer discouraging words and spout pat comments like “you just need to have faith” when talking to you about a particular rough patch you’re going through in life?
Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other ~ Romans 12:9-10 NLT
The apostle Paul, who wrote the book of Romans upon the inspiration of God (II Timothy 3:16), also penned several times in other letters to various churches to be an encouragement to others (Eph. 4:29, I Thes. 5:11, 14); Paul also thanked the many churches who were of great encouragement to him during his travels.
I’m not talking about people you meet on the street who have no knowledge of or faith in Christ. Some of those people are the nicest people you will meet. They’ll help you in a pinch and will hold a genuinely pleasant conversation with you. I’m talking about those who say they not only have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, but who’s words sometimes even suggest it.
Even Jesus, when confronted with real sin, had compassion for the sinner. While He certainly had the right to judge the woman caught in adultery (I’ve always wondered why the religious leaders forgot to bring the man to Jesus as well), His response at that time was first to scribble in the sand, then to dismiss her by simply telling her to “go and sin no more.” Or consider his conversation with the Samaritan woman at the well, who because of her outcast status in society, was only allowed to draw water from the well in the heat of the day, rather than the cooler morning hours. Did Jesus bash these folks over the head with trite sayings?
Are you one of these “Christians” who has to continually find fault in the words or actions of others? I’m not talking about genuine, real grievances committed against you or others in your presence; I’m talking about a general attitude of continually finding fault in others. Do you simply have pat answers to people when they share their woes with you, such as telling them that they need to have more faith? That’s not really what the grieving parent needs to hear after the sudden death of their infant, or the mother who’s child committed suicide, or the man who lost his job through no fault of his own.
Stop it! If you can’t, then may I recommend that you put your time attending church, or your time spent writing snarky comments via the Internet to better use: avoid contact with others and simply park yourself in front of the television!