Jesus calls his followers not to “despise” other Christians in Matt 18:10-14. To despise a person is look down on them. Surely, we feel this temptation when we encounter Christians who are less mature than us, have different views on secondary theological topics, or differ in ways that we think makes us superior to them. We also may feel this with Christians who are not as gifted or able to serve or have a lot of emotional, spiritual, or physical needs.
But, as Christians we are to heed to Jesus’ words and not “despise” other Christians (Matt 18:10).
The weak Christian is precious to God. Though he wanders off and gets himself into trouble, like a sheep that goes astray, God still goes after the stray sheep and rejoices over it being found (Matt 18:11-14). The angels look after the mature and the weak Christian (Matt 18:10). There is not first or second-class Christian, but all stand on level ground as sinners before a holy God and in need of God’s grace.
And, if we’re honest, we all have areas of weakness that could be despised by other Christians. We have areas in our sanctification where we have been extremely SLOW to grow in; we have weakness and sin and there are areas that may tempt other believers to be irritated by or despised.
Jesus saves us from the sin of despising other Christians. He saves us from the folly of self-righteousness that we would be compassionate, kind, and patient toward the weak Christian. And he himself is compassionate to us in our weakness.
It is by meditating on Christ’s compassion to us that we find resources to show compassion to other Christians. And as we live out this approach in our church others see the glory of a God who is kind and compassionate.