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“And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you:” (1 Thessalonians 3:12).
How we treat others and approach those with a different lifestyles is a big part of what makes someone a Christian.The Bible definitely teaches that Christians should demonstrate love and respect for all people (1 Peter 2:17).
This can sometimes become complicated when someone we care about chooses a lifestyle that we don’t understand or don’t agree with as a Christian. We must look to God for wisdom. “The Lord God hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary…” (Isaiah 50:4).
While we are to demonstrate love and respect to others at all times, that does not mean that we have to compromise our own beliefs. The Bible says that when dealing with controversial topics, our method to address it should be “speaking the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15). We can lovingly and respectfully state our beliefs in Christ and the Bible (Matthew 10:32-33, Luke 9:26). It is out of love that we share the truth with them (1 Peter 1:22).
Jesus tells his followers not to judge others in the sense that we don’t focus on the errors of others and forget to work on our own character (Matthew 7:1-3). We are also not to judge another person as though they were of lesser worth or look down on others as if we are more holy than anyone (Romans 14:10, James 4:12, Romans 2:1). We are all sinners and we all need a Savior (Romans 3:23, 6:23).
However, we are able to judge, or discern, what we think is right or wrong (Luke 7:43, Hebrews 5:13-14). If we are convicted of something, then we should be able to state our thoughts in a loving and Christlike way. We should pray for the right opportunity to have a conversation and ask God to guide our words. If the other person chooses to accept your words, then it is a blessing (James 1:21). If they don’t agree with your beliefs, then continue to pray for them and demonstrate God’s love toward them (Matthew 5:44-48).
“And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment;” (Philippians 1:9).
In His service,
Tina, BibleAsk Team