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Follow Jesus’ example: love one another

Julie Wells

Julie Wells

How easy it is for us to condemn one another, especially Christian to Christian.

I’ve had several conversations with other Christians lately about why they do or do not do certain things. Those topics included listening to music other than any Christian tunes, drinking alcohol and cussing.

In all of those conversations, people are usually passionate about their stance. Whether that passion is heart-driven or defense mode kicking in, they are passionate about how they feel in regards to certain topics.

For years, we as Christians have gone back and forth on what all we should and shouldn’t do. The great debates — as I like to call them — have caused many families and churches to split.

It is so easy for us to look at one another and say, “And she says she is a Christian,” when we do not approve of something someone is or isn’t doing.

The one I dislike the most is when we say someone is being “holier than thou,” again, because they are usually choosing not to do something someone else is choosing to do.

I think you understand the point I’m coming to.

It really doesn’t matter what we think; it is all a heart matter. The matter of the heart is Jesus, or it should be. He is the only one who really knows our hearts and the real reason behind our decisions anyway.

Not one of is perfect. When Jesus gave the command to love one another, He meant that for all of us, even our brothers and sisters in Christ.

I took the time to listen to some of my brothers and sisters and their decisions on doing or not doing things. A lot of it comes back to a word that unfortunately not a lot of people use any more — conviction.

I didn’t ask if I could share their personal stories, so I can only tell you why I choose the things that I do. I’m going to share something personal with you for a moment.

Music is my passion. I love it. Music moves me in ways that I cannot explain, and it is my most favorite way to worship Jesus.

When I was in my mid-teens, I listened to secular music. I began to notice that I was constantly emotional, just plain out sad. I pushed it off as me “being a girl.” A few days later, I was listening to a country song, again, and I began to get really teary.

To make a long story short, in that period of my life, those type of songs I was listening to only brought pain and sadness to my heart. Those songs were reminding me of the broken heart I had experienced and, really, they brought out feelings of such self-pity.

Some time later, some Christian friends shared with me why they only listen to Christian music and, at that time in my life, I decided I had nothing to lose, so I thought I would do the same.

Within a matter of days, I found myself feeling lighter than usual. I wasn’t wallowing around in my own selfishness and was uplifted by the constant reminder I was feeding my soul with how much Jesus really did love me.

It all comes back to an old saying “Whatever goes in, is going to come out,” whether that be things like music, movies or food.

If we surround of ourselves with all things Jesus, then we will express Jesus to others. But if we are constantly feeding our spirits with things that are not of Him, then that will come out too.

Here is my point: Jesus came to bring life, not death. He came to love and not condemn.

Whatever our brothers and sisters are, or are not, doing, we need to love them through it, pray for them and remind ourselves that Jesus has brought us all, and I mean all of us, through our own struggles.

I’m so glad we serve a gracious and eternal loving God.

Julie Wells is the editorial assistant in the newsroom at the Rockdale Citizen. She can be reached at julie.wells@rockdalecitizen.com.