This has really been on my heart lately. As Christians, we are constantly under a microscope. People are watching us; how we act, react, treat people, dress, speak, etc. I think most Christians feel a lot of pressure to be perfect, but that's not the case...we are simply called to live a life that reflects Christ. We will still mess up, but I think there's testimony in that as well, to show that we do make mistakes, admit them, ask for fogiveness, repent, and move on. I don't consider it a burden that I have to live to such high standards, but rather an honor. For our reward will be great...
If you take just a minute to reflect on yourself and your life, are your claims to be a Christian matching up with your lifestyle?? Would someone who doesn't know you be able to tell you're a Christian without you telling them?? Are you doing anything in your life that could be causing someone else to stumble??
One struggle for me is gossip. I work in a school, so obviously I'm surrounded by gossip. I have definitely gotten better about not talking about people, but I am trying to be more bold about letting others know I am uncomortable with it as well. It can be awkward, especially when I used to do it and I feel like that's what others would be thinking if I said something to them. "Well who is she to say anything?" All I can say is I'm a work in progress.
I have an agnostic friend who said one of the big reasons for no longer going to church was because of the hypocrisy and judgemental people. She felt so judged, and when she watched how others acted, she couldn't see why they would judge her for things when they acted the way they did. I have to agree with her, and I have really been examining my own life to make sure I am striving to have the best walk I can "so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people." (Phil 2:15)
I certainly do not claim to be perfect, but I am always striving so I can be a good example. "Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. " (1 Tim 4:12) A big part of that is not being judgemental.....Can you even imagine how much better this world would be if we focused on the good in others, LOVED them like we were called to do, serve them, and then focused on ourselves instead of judging others??
Also, as believers we are called to be an example to others. To let our light shine. (Matt 5:16) Whether you are a mother, sister, teacher, friend, whatever, there are always people watching to see how you are going to handle situations; especially if they know you're a Christian.
Check out these verses:
"But if you cause one of these little ones who trusts in me to fall into sin, it would be better for you to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone hung around your neck." -Mark 9:42