It can sometimes be hard to understand other people's lives, especially when our own experiences don't match up with those around us.
For me, sometimes I find it hard to relate to others and the choices that they have made in their lives. I mistakenly think myself better than others. It is easy for me to think these things. I come from a happy loving middle-class family. I was brought up a Christian, and considering my age, my career is going very well. I have never got drunk irresponsibly or took any illegal drugs.
I have always been well behaved and self-controlled. I believe that the fact that I have lived a 'good life' is exactly makes me judging and proud. Luke 6 verse 31 says – "Do to others as you would have them do to you." But this is not the only part of loving our neighbours, as Philippians 2 verses 3-4 says, we need to consider others better than ourselves.
I believe like many Christians, I don't judge others in the traditional glaring sense, with words of condemnation or even treating others differently from myself.
But I do have the pride of knowing that in many things I have done better than others. I often have pride in my 'good life' and my 'good works'. This train of thought in unhealthy for many reasons, not least of all that it shows a focus and reliance on yourself rather than God.
It is also unhealthy that we think less of our neighbours, when we are all equal under the eyes of God. Philippians 2 verses 3-4 tells us that we should be humble and not only treat others well (as in Luke 6 verse) but consider them better than ourselves.
Luke 6 verse 37 "Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.
Instead of viewing others as less than us (which is judgement and condemnation), we should be treating them with the same kind of love and grace that God has granted us.
We should focus on letting others know that regardless of your works or past that grace of God is available to all. If we do not we fall upon God's judgment, condemnation and we will not be forgiven.
Nathanael Yates from Perth, Western Australia, is an award winning young scientist completing a PhD in the neurobiology of schizophrenia
Nathanael Yates' previous articles may be viewed at: www.pressserviceinternational.org/nathanael-yates.html