I was talking to a friend the other day (whom I shall call Linda). Linda and I were in a group with other friends talking about events and other things when out of Linda’s mouth came a curse word. She apologized to me since she knew I followed Christ and continued talking. At first, I was honored. But something about that split moment just did not feel right. As I prayed about this I realized something. Why would she feel the need to act different around me? At first glance this may seem like a good thing, but after praying about it, I beg to differ. Linda apologized because she felt as if her curse word would somehow offend me, further more she then tried not to say any other curse words. However, this action, as good as it may seem, is actually not good. Why?
Christ did not call me to be a self righteous man that somehow gets offended by “curse words”. I feel that we Christians loose focus as to what things are about when we let things like curse words offend us. Are they vulgar? sure, but is it the end of the world if someone who has not given their lives to Christ curses? Definitely not. Now, dont miss quote me, I am not propagating cursing. All im saying is that we need to come off our high horses. How can we expect people who have not professed their faith on Christ to act any different then who they are? And why would we want them too? Righteousness without Christ is just as wrong as unrighteousness without Christ. Isaiah says that God looks at our righteousness as filthy rags (which translated means menstrual rags). So why would we propagate that the world somehow started acting “righteous” as opposed to bringing them to Christ and letting Christ change them from the inside out? We got it backwards. Christ says to come as you are. He came to call sinners to repentance not the righteous. All through scripture you read where Christ met people where they where, and took them from that place to where He wanted them to be, but only after they had met Him.
The point? At that moment I felt prideful and quite self righteous at the fact that my friend somehow felt the need to apologize for the curse word she said. That was wrong of me. The freedom that I have in Christ is a freedom that enables me to see people for what God wants them to be, not what I want them to be. That they curse or not really does not matter. What really matters is if they have Christ. And if they do, Christ will give them the desire to not curse. God will start revealing the definition by which He has defined them. And reveal to the world that which is, not what is pretended to be.
I heard a preacher say a long time ago. “when the world is near you, they should feel awkward when they curse or do anything sinful”. I understand why he said that, however, I now disagree. Yes our life is a light to the world, but this light needs to point people to Jesus, not to a mask of righteousness. I have been called to Christ, and transformed to be what I am, and what I am is truly what I am, because of Christ. The world (those without Christ) can only act they way the act without Christ.
Application? Christians: Brothers and Sisters in the Lord. Don’t lord your “righteousness” over those who dont believe. They cant comprehend it, nor is it our duty to make them comprehend it. We are to live righteous lives and shine before men so that our works glorify God. If somehow our works are not glorifying God and instead the works are exalting us, then something is wrong. Yes, that means I did something wrong if Linda felt the need to apologize to me as oppose to seeing Christ and apologize to Him in the form of repentance.
I love you all
Juan Castillo Jr.