We can’t control what other people say to other people. But, we can control what we will about to say to them.
All of us have the right to say the things we want to say because we live in a free world. Communications and social networking sites have been used to express one’s feelings and beliefs. But the problem arises when someone say bad things towards other people. If we have disbeliefs on other people’s faith, is it right to say bad things about them?
Jesus says, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8: 32)
We can tell the truth without saying foul words to other people. At times, when speaking of the truth, there is a great tendency that we hurt people’s feelings. This is totally normal to many people, especially to those who were born with their beliefs. They usually say that they have acquired their beliefs from their great – great grandfathers and nobody can remove them from their so called faith. Some people are really closed-minded and narrow-minded too.
If we can’t win them with kind words, we have to respect their beliefs.
There was an instance in the New Testament when Apostle Paul advised Titus, “say sharp words to them so that they may come to the right faith.” (Titus 1:13) This doesn’t mean that preachers and pastors have the right to disrespect the beliefs of other people. Saying sharp words doesn’t mean we need to discriminate the beliefs of other people. Words of God are really sharp – and it is sharp enough to tell the truth and make other people believe in God. It doesn’t need to add up more foul words like saying personal things about the ministers or priests of a certain congregation.
One way of showing love to others is to respect other’s beliefs. Jesus rebuke the Pharisees and the Scribes during His time. These people are known to be religious and superior in many things when it comes to their social stature, but their lack of respect to many people especially to the sinners, tax collectors and to the people of Samaria made them abominations in the eyes of God. They believe they are God’s people because they are always in the temple, but their actions lack love and meekness towards their neighbors.
We cannot say we love and worship God without respecting other people too. We lie to ourselves if we say we love God without loving other people.
1Jn 4:20 If a man says, I have love for God, and has hate for his brother, his words are false: for how is the man who has no love for his brother whom he has seen, able to have love for God whom he has not seen?
1Jn 4:21 And this is the word which we have from him, that he who has love for God is to have the same love for his brother.
If we see our friends, relatives, love ones and neighbors performing their rituals, observing their religious rites and practices – do we have to mock them even if we know that their manners of worship is not according to God’s will?
Neither anyone of us has the right to mock on others people’s beliefs.
If we see them in their usual practices - RESPECT THEM. We don’t have knowledge on what God has planned for them. God’s ways are mysterious.
Apostle Paul was the number one enemy of the church of God after the resurrection of Jesus Christ. He was the prosecutor of many Christian believers. He did all these things because he believed that their sect is the correct religion. But God has a wonderful plan for Paul. He was chosen as a vessel to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles and as well as the People of Israel.
Maybe many of us like Paul before, believed that we are the correct religion and we see other congregations as evil and wicked just because some of their practices and beliefs are not our practices and beliefs. We usually judge them and rebuke all of them. This is called religious arrogance and spiritual superiority. And this is totally wrong in the sight of God.
By doing these things, even if we follow the laws and commandments of God – but intentionally disrespecting other people’s beliefs, do you think it is right in the eyes of God? All of us should show meekness and respect to other people. We are all equal in the sight of God. No one is superior, so don”t act as one.