In the age of social media, every single thing we do is seen, heard, and more often than not, criticized by others. If you're a Christian, you experience judgment from non-Christians a lot. Of course, the Bible warns us that as Christians we will face persecution from non-believers for wanting to live in the world, but not of it.
However, what blows my mind is the amount of hatred and judgment I see between fellow Christians. It seems like every single day I see or hear people saying "Christians can't do this" or "You're not a true Christian if you support that." I see these things and it breaks my heart because I know that these widespread stereotypes about the perfect mold that a Christian has to fit into do nothing but drive people away from the faith. Even I have been guilty at times of questioning someone else's faith based on their actions, although since I've noticed that trend in my thoughts I have worked hard to stop it.
People will often say that the Bible says this or that, but they have no scriptural evidence to support their claims. The Bible never says that someone who has committed a crime in their past can't come to know the Lord, but it does say to love one another deeply, above all else (1 Peter 4:8). Nowhere in the Bible does it say that a Christian woman cannot be a feminist, but it does say women are worthy of respect (1 Timothy 3:11).
The Bible does not tell us as Christians to stand outside of abortion clinics and harass women we don't know but instead says that those who are without sin can cast the first stone (John 8:7). The Bible doesn't say that people with neon green hair or a sleeve of tattoos can't be Christians, but it does tell us on more than one occasion to love one another as we love ourselves, and as He first loved us (1 John 4:7-8).
Jesus ate and laughed and fellowshipped with people who were considered the lowest of the low at the time. He chose to look beyond what the world saw in them to what He knew was in their hearts and we as Christians should strive to do the same.
The Church, although we may hate to admit it, has become a place where people feel judged by their appearance, their past, their relationships, and even their political views. In actuality, they should feel loved regardless of who they are, and even if they don't even consider themselves a Christian.
In The Great Commission at the end of the book of Matthew, Jesus doesn't call us to love those we choose to love and share his words to those we ourselves deem worthy of hearing and following it. He tells us to share His love and His teachings to all people of all nations. That means that regardless of who someone is, where they come from, their political leanings or the color of their skin, we do not get to decide if they are worthy to follow Jesus's teachings and call themselves a Christian. The only requirements for being a believer are a love for God, a love for people, and a dedication to following His commandments.
So, if you're a Christian and you find yourself judging a fellow Christian and questioning their faith, take a step back and remember that you don't get to write their story. You don't know their life, or what path they've had to take to get them to where they are. When we compete and judge and manipulate within the church, it only gives people outside of the church a less stable foundation to try and destroy. Try taking a moment to see things from their eyes, ask yourself what Jesus would do, and remember that He would love first.