What do you think of others? Do you size-them-up: know their sins and think less of them, or think they are great because you like how they look or like how much they have?
The Apostle Paul gives us a great insight into how we should observe others, how we should think of others.
15 Christ died for all so that those who live would ·not continue to [no longer] live for themselves, but for him who died for them and was raised from the dead.
16 [L So; As a result] From ·this time [now] on we do not think of anyone ·as the world does [or from a merely human perspective; L according to the flesh]. [L Although] In the past we thought of Christ ·as the world thinks [or as nothing more than a man; L according to the flesh], but we no longer think of him in that way.
17 If anyone belongs to Christ, ·there is a new creation [the new creation has arrived; or that person has become a new creation]. The old things have gone; [L look; T behold] ·everything is made new [the new has come]!
18 All this is from God, who through Christ ·made peace between us and [reconciled us to] himself, and gave us the ·work of telling everyone about the peace we can have with him [L ministry/service of reconciliation].
19 [L For] God was in Christ, ·making peace between the world and [reconciling the world to] himself. In Christ, God did not ·hold the world guilty of its sins [L count their trespasses against them]. And he ·gave [committed/entrusted to] us this message of ·peace [reconciliation].
20 So we ·have been sent to speak [L are ambassadors] for Christ. It is as if God is ·calling to [urging; exhorting; encouraging] you through us. We speak for Christ when we ·beg [implore; urge] you to be ·at peace with [reconciled to] God.
21 God made ·Christ [L the one] who ·had no sin [or never sinned; L did not know sin] to become sin for us, so that in ·Christ [L him] we could become ·right with [L the righteousness of] God. – 2 Corinthians 5:15-21 Expanded Bible (EXB)
If by “normal standards” someone be bad, we who are “in Christ” (verse 17) are encouraged to think of that person as someone Christ does not want to condemn. We should not condemn, but take on a ministry of encouraging that person. With wisdom, try to help them work toward being at peace with God.
5 Such hope never disappoints or deludes or shames us, for God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us. 6 While we were yet in weakness [powerless to help ourselves], at the fitting time Christ died for (in behalf of) the ungodly. – Romans 5:5-6 Amplified Bible
Judge not [neither pronouncing judgment nor subjecting to censure], and you will not be judged; do not condemn and pronounce guilty, and you will not be condemned and pronounced guilty; acquit and forgive and release (give up resentment, let it drop), and you will be acquitted and forgiven and released. – Luke 6:37
3 …the scribes and Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery. …4 Teacher, they said, This woman has been caught in the very act of adultery…. 10 When Jesus raised Himself up, He said to her, Woman, where are your accusers? Has no man condemned you? 11 She answered, No one, Lord!
And Jesus said, I do not condemn you either. Go on your way and from now on sin no more.
12 Once more Jesus addressed the crowd. He said, I am the Light of the world. He who follows Me will not be walking in the dark, but will have the Light which is Life. – John 8:5-12 Amplified Bible
There is bad, and there is good. But if we are “in Christ”, Scripture is telling us to see others as Christ sees them. See “the bad” as something Christ died to forgive. Love the one who is in the bad. Make it our ministry to love others.
It is not for us to put others down. That is not our ministry. Rather, think like Christ Jesus.
Make it our daily walk –
- to not condemn but rather forgive,
- to not put-down but rather lift-up,
- to not think little-of but rather think of them as one who is loved by God,
- to remember that Christ loves them so much He went as far as to die for them (for us too!).
Remember that God does not wait for us to be perfect. He wants us to come to Him just as we are, now. Even so, even as Christ, no matter the sin – we love the sinner.
demonstrates His own love toward us,
in that while we were yet sinners,
Christ died for us.
– Romans 5:8
Have you yourself not sinned to merit condemnation, yet God forgave you? If you do not condemn your own self, how can you then turn around and condemn another for their sin?
There is no excuse for us to put-down another. There is no sin too great – nothing that God cannot forgive.
I am giving you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, so you too are to love one another. By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you have love and unselfish concern for one another.”
22 But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love [unselfish concern for others], joy, [inner] peace, patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.
1 Peter 1:22
Since by your obedience to the truth you have purified yourselves for a sincere love of the believers, [see that you] love one another from the heart [always unselfishly seeking the best for one another]