‘Do not let anyone (…) disqualify you.’ Colossians 2:18a
Often our lives are influenced too much by the opinions of others. Now it is wrong to judge others, but it is also wrong to be weighed down by the judgement of others. Paul says: ‘I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court’ (1 Corinthians 4:3). Those, who know they belong to Jesus Christ, do not feel so easily hurt by the opinions of others. For it is far more important what God says about us, than what people say. What people have to say about us, is mostly not very constructive; on the contrary, it focuses us on ourselves and not on the Lord. Therefore it is not only sinful to judge others, but also to be ruled by the opinions of others. For outsiders it is hard to judge if we have an intimate communion with the Lord, but people are quick to judge outward things, such as those mentioned in verse 16. They judge us by what we eat or drink, or our celebration of the holy days. Those, who are so quick to judge others, are usually too uninterested in these others to take the trouble to get to know them deeper. On the contrary, they are keen to express their opinions of people, who are slightly different, in order to have a reason to reject them.
Please, have yourself set free from that burden of other people’s criticisms, and submit yourself joyfully to the loving and careful judgement of the Lord Jesus (1 Corinthians 4:4). When we lovingly entrust each other to His care, all barriers will fall. Then we can live open to each other, accepting each other and feeling accepted ourselves. Then nobody within the church of Christ will miss the opportunity to develop into the full, unique blossoming of a life that finds its roots in Christ Himself only.