Being a Christian in college is hard. I will be the first to admit it. In fact, I think any student would say the same, regardless of who or what they believe in. Each day, we are surrounded by an obnoxious amount of temptations that we used to (at least I was) be sheltered from. I never knew some of the evils that existed in this universe. Inevitably, with all of these temptations comes participation, followed by unnecessary judgement from our peers. However, doesn't the Bible teach us that all of us are united as one and we form one body?
"The body is a unit, though it is comprised of many parts. And although its parts are many, they all form one body. So it is with Christ." 1 Corinthians 12:12
When we dedicate our lives to Christ, we become one in Him and join our other followers as one individual. Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians created a worthy analogy of this fact: "Because there is one loaf, we who are many are one body; for we all partake of the one loaf." 1 Corinthians 10:17
Since we are all a part of the same loaf of bread, essentially, we are one and should be true and faithful to each other. Why then do we tear each other down because of the sins and temptations we are beckoned with? Why are we choosing to allow bitter words to drip off our lips instead of encouraging and inviting others in to discuss their trials? Who decided that it was acceptable to let judging become such a prominent aspect of this culture we live in? We need to lift people up, not diminish them.
Casting Crowns has an amazing song about this issue that I have had on repeat for the past week. "If We Are the Body" is the perfect example of coming together with our hands, voice, and feet to portray love to our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Instead of laughing at and talking negatively about a girl throwing up all over the frat house floor, we should be carrying her home, lifting her up, and making sure that she is fine. Instead of whispering about the boy that hooks up and telling people to stay away from him, we need to be directing him towards the truth and praying for him. Instead of yelling at someone for doing drugs, we need to find a way to respectfully show this person their worth and express how individualistic and special they are without altering their mind away from the flawlessness God gifted them through creation. Although this can be hard, we are taught to love our enemies (Luke 6:27-28) and we need to reach out to individuals in a time of need.
We need to pray for the people that hurt us in ways we cannot even imagine instead of talking about them behind their back. We need to encourage others to accept what they have done and point them into the right direction, staring at the face of God. Instead of judging, we need to remember that we are all sinful and each of us are imperfect. We need to remember that God is the only cleanser and that we have no right to judge because we have absolutely no choice or say on who passes through the Pearly Gates. We are not faultless, we are blemished; we have no right to express our negative beliefs on an individual while wearing your personal sin from the last week, day, even hour or minutes.
Instead of degrading the other parts of our body, since we are all one in Christ, we need to embrace the imperfections and realize that these things are what make us unique. Realizing that our sins will leave us if we accept and give them to God will make us more understanding of the other pieces of us that come together through other people."Come now, let us settle the matter," says the LORD. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool." Isaiah 1:18
Even though each part of our loaf is stained with sin, if we work together to overcome our temptations, we can become flawless yet again, the kind of loaf that you crave out to dinner when you haven't eaten in a while, waiting to order your meal. We can bring our Body of Christ together if we understand, respect, encourage, help, and strive to make a difference in others' lives. These things are like the butter you spread on your loaf to make it more appealing. A simple deed such as taking someone out for a meal, inviting them to an organization such as YoungLife or Fellowship of Christian Athletes, blasting Casting Crowns in the car, or going to church on a Sunday morning after a college weekend can make all the difference in a person's life.
We need to become the body. Following this simple task of non-judgement may sound extremely difficult, but if we turn to the Scripture and pray for those who we may detest, judge, or have oppositions to, we will find that the yeast will mold together and we will become one now and when we reach Heaven on our special day.