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Have you ever heard the old song "If I Had A Hammer?" Well, you'd think most of the Christians in the world would claim that one as their favorite songs by the way they bash away at each other so many times.

Now I know that we are all individuals, having our own unique personalities and traits. But being different in belief or opinion does not necessarily make a person wrong. Just try this simple test with another person sometime.

Take a piece of paper and write down these three things:
  1. Your favorite color
  2. Your favorite food
  3. Your favorite drink
Now, trade that list with the someone else. Their list is of things is now a list of your favorite things.

Let's say your favorite color is Blue, your favorite food is mashed potatoes, and your favorite drink is milk. However, you have been handed a new list, and now your favorite color is hot pink, your favorite food is squid, and your favorite drink is something that tastes like a mushroom and onion malt. You're not very happy, are you?

Well, when we try to hammer on other people, beating them up with our words because they are not of the same liking or opinion as we are, we are doing the work of the devil—not the work of God.

A hammer can be used constructively to build a house, or it can be used to tear one down. There are enough people hammering away at each other in the world without Christians getting in on the act.

You know, Christians are supposed to be "Christ-like." Jesus accepted people as the individuals they were. Now, I'm not saying He accepted their sinful ways. No, not at all. He loved the person, and He hated the sin. That's why Jesus went to the cross, so that we could be forgiven of our sins, and they could be put away from us forever.

God Loves Variety
But I'm not talking about sin here. You will notice when you look at other people, they all look somewhat different. God loves variety. Wouldn't it be a really boring world if all we had to eat was mashed potatoes, and all we had to drink was milk, and everything was blue?

I guess it would make it easier to buy your clothes: they could be any color you want as long as they're blue, right? But life would be no fun. And if everyone was like you, would you be happy?

If everyone was just like me, I'd still be single (believe me!). I wouldn't marry me. But my wife, who is very different than me, saw something in me she liked, and she married me.

When you go to church, I can guarantee you that no two persons in that whole church have identical beliefs, or even the same perception of God or the same relationship with Him. But are they wrong? Not unless what they believe, say, and do are contrary to the Word of God.

Do you do everything perfectly? I don't; I make mistakes every day. And I don't need Mr. or Mrs. Hammer to beat on me. Rather, I need people to encourage me and point me in the direction of God and have mercy on me when I mess up. And I need to do the same for them.

No Vote Required
Now, there are things that are wrong, and we should not be calling them acceptable. There are some churches that vote on if they should call acceptable the things that God calls "abominations." What God says is wrong, we have no right to be voting on whether to call it right.

God says it's wrong, and that settles it. No vote needed. God doesn't need our approval; He needs our obedience. He says to love one another. Can you truly be loving someone when you are beating him or her with a hammer? Let's start using the hammer for what it was intended for...building things—not tearing them apart.

Love the sinner and hate the sin. Remember, as you are looking at someone who is different than you, they are looking back at you seeing how different your are. Am I saying "anything goes?" What does the Bible say?

My opinion isn't worth two cents. But the Bible says what is right, what is wrong, how we should act, how we should conduct our businesses, how we should treat our mate, our children, our neighbor, and even our animals.

Two-thousand years ago a man used a hammer to nail Jesus to a cross, and with it "blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross. And having spoiled principalities and powers, He made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it" (Col. 2:14-15).

Let's not nail our fellow man to that cross, OK? Nail your sins there and repent of them. And hang your hammer up—we can be different and not sin.

Copyright © Life Healing Ministries
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

Jerry Baysinger
Web site: Life Healing Ministries
Jerry Baysinger was a twenty-one-and-a-half-year civilian employee of Missouri State Highway Patrol and operator of his own successful furniture repair business, when in 1993, he was diagnosed with five melanomas and liver cancer. Given a month to live, he resigned from the Patrol and went home to die.

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