The only reason I came up with this topic is because earlier today, I called one of my non-believing friends a "heathen." It was in jest, but immediately after I sent it, I felt a need to qualify it by saying, "I meant that in the kindest, most loving way possible." Well my friend didn't respond for awhile, which made me worry that I had, indeed, offended him. Of course I saw later that he hadn't taken it personally, and as usual I had blown something out of proportion. As usual though, it got me thinking:
"Who am I to call anyone a heathen?"
I'm obviously not qualified to call anyone that, and even though I said it in jest in that instance, I cannot pretend that I am innocent of ever judging my fellow man. So in this instance, I think it's good that I over-think things, because it's made me come to the realization, that I need to work on not judging people. People who don't believe in Jesus do not need my judgement. My judgement means jack diddly squat. The Greatest Command isn't "Love those who believe in Jesus." It's not that specific. It says, "Love one another." Maybe that's a face palm moment for some people, but it is a struggle I think for many Christians. It's so easy to see a woman who gets ridiculously drunk all the time, and look down on her for her decisions. It's easy to look at a guy who likes to sleep around, and just think of him as a heartless cad. It's not easy always to love people like that, but that is what I and every other Christian is called to do.
Guess what? No Christian is ever any better than any non-Christian. God loves all of his children. I've done so many things, that make me unfit for God's Kingdom. Somehow God accepts me anyway. I am not here on this Earth to admonish and condemn people. I am here to show Christ's love for us, to do my best (however inadequate I feel sometimes) to be a disciple, and to be there for people. I am not perfect. I have A LOT to learn.
The Greatest Command is "Love one another as I have loved you." How do you do that? I know it's one of the most cliche and over quoted verses of the Bible, but I still think it holds true regardless:
Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.-1Corinthians 14: 4-7
I randomly found this commentary while I was looking for the Bible Verse, and I thought it was pretty accurate.
Love suffers long, or puts up with people that it is easy to give up on. Love is kind, namely, treats well people who have treated us poorly. Love doesn't envy (Gk. zeloo) nor parade itself and is not puffed up. Love endures any hardship or rejection, revealing its superior strength. In the face of confrontation, love simply continues. To love is the great commandment (compare John 13:34, 35) and no other force promotes righteousness more.