I've written about this topic before, but as I read through Norm Wakefield's articles on the "Curse of the Standard Bearer", I am reminded again of our deep need to stay in tune with the Holy Spirit and our call as believers to not be the "Holy Spirit" in other people's lives.
I personally know families that have been torn apart by someone not living up to the standard of another family member. It's heartbreaking!
We may have the conviction of courtship, remaining emotionally pure, dressing modestly, reading only the KJV, homeschooling, certain type of music, no Sunday School...etc...the list is endless, and it is NOT our responsibility to convict other people of the same convictions we have! We must trust the Holy Spirit to move in the life of God's children.
We must fight to not "look down" at others who may not "do" what we "do". (I am talking about the non-essentials of the faith, here! For example, if you date or don't date your salvation is not resting on that conviction!)
A few years ago I spoke at a college and when I was sitting at my table, after my talk, there was this girl talking rather loudly across the room. I could tell that she was offering a ride to a fellow male college student. She said, very loudly and very sarcastically, "I don't know if I can take you. We may not be emotionally pure!"
As I sat there I wanted to say, "Listen sweetie (okay this would not have been a finer moment for me) I am not the emotional purity police! You are in charge of being right before God and letting Him convict you of what you can and can not do with men in your life!"
Thankfully, I kept my big mouth shut. But, in this ministry, there have been many times people have assumed that I am sitting around keeping people "in check". Who has time for that!?! What I am doing, is praying that God will use this message to bring people closer to Him and however that looks is between them and the Lord.
I pray today that you are removing any judgement you may have on someone who may not be doing the things you'd like them to do and trust that God's spirit will move in their lives, at His pace! Let's not let our conviction put walls between us and other people!