One of the things that troubles me is when I hear Christians speaking ill of other Christians – and I know I am not without fault myself in this respect. Usually it involves some judgement of their behaviour or attitude, or maybe something they have done that we think is wrong. And while it is right to deal with genuine error and sin in the church, we need to be careful of how we judge and what we say.
Maybe we should take a leaf from God's word. Paul writes to the Ephesians "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ." (Eph 1:3).
Two words are used in the original Greek text of the New Testament for 'blessed'. One is 'makarios', which we find in the Beatitudes (Matt 5:1-12 and Luke 6:20-22) and is about our state of mind, our joy in the Lord. But the other, the one used here is 'eulogia'. It means 'to speak a good word'. What Paul is revealing to us through scripture is that, whatever we feel about ourselves, whatever others think of us, God always speaks well of us and in every way possible.
It is because he has totally immersed us in Christ by his Holy Spirit (1 Cor 12:13), and there is no fault, no judgement in Christ. For through him we have peace with God (Rom 5:1-11). And if we have peace with God, we are no longer his enemies, but his friends. He does not speak over us with a critical spirit, but with love and acceptance.
For me, this is so amazing, to think that when God looks at me, he sees Jesus, he sees his righteousness, his beauty and not my sin that Jesus dealt with on the Cross.
If this is how God is with us, how much more should we, who have escaped judgement through Christ, not judge or criticize others, but work in the opposite direction and bless. This word 'eulogia' crops up in several other parts of the Bible. For instance, in Luke 6:28 Jesus teaches, "...bless those who curse you, pray for those who ill-treat you." It's worth reading the whole of that passage (v27-49) to see how God expects us to demonstrate the culture of heaven, not the culture of the world in our relationships with other Christians. Then we will have unity. Jesus is telling us to look at each other through heaven's eyes, to see each other 'in Christ'.
For if we criticise others, we criticize Christ!
"How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity.... For there, the Lord bestows his blessing, even life for evermore" (Psalm 133). And there is God, blessing us again.
© PRAYERHUB MINISTRIES