Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.
In my arrogance, ignorance, and pride prior to my salvation, I would look down on believers in Christ. I thought somehow I was more elevated, more enlightened, more aware; that I had made it further in this game of life (uggghhh, makes me nauseous to write that now). I thought that they had become complacent, were being juvenile, and at some point would maybe wake up to it.
HOW VERY VERY WRONG I WAS!!!!
I now see the light of Christ they exemplify, and I am humbled, sorrowful, embarrassed by my prior judgements. I am in awe and grateful for the lives they live seeking and glorifying the Lord and sharing the love of Christ. After my own salvation experience, what I had previously witnessed in my believing family and friends throughout my life was now making so much more sense in beautiful ways with lots of dots connecting and lightbulbs going off. Believers don't live perfect lives, they may still fall down, suffer, face trials, fall into sin, etc. And through it all they aim to keep their faith and trust in God, turning towards Him, living with Christ in their hearts.
I recall a few years ago when I heard the news that Doreen Virtue, one of my mentors in the New Age community, turned from all that she had been doing and gave her life to Christ. For about 15 years I had read all her books, owned all her angel cards, and looked to her for inspiration. When I found out about her conversion, I was in shock and confused. At that time I thought she must be deluded. That she had gone backwards on her spiritual path. I wondered when she would realize her folly and pick back up again where she had left off. Then, when I was saved in June and experienced the salvation of Christ and truly believing in Him, she was one of the first persons I thought of. I felt remorse and could now understand what she went through. I wrote her a message and apologized for my misunderstanding and judgements, which she responded to with love and encouragement. This experience with Doreen has helped me stay in compassion and understanding as I now face similar judgements that I had once given her.
I am amazed and inspired by those that believe in Christ and keep their compass pointing towards Him. Living life for Christ is not the easiest path, there can be much suffering and trials, but because of the everlasting love God has for us and the relationship with God that has been restored through Jesus, we walk through the suffering and trials held and supported in the most powerful and fruitful ways.
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
Believer in Christ