What will it take for my family members to realize that Jesus Christ is either Lord of their lives, or He is just another religious figure to be ignored? After all, if He is not Lord, what we think, say, and do is totally subjective. In actuality, that makes us our own god; we rule ourselves. And for those out there who quickly respond by saying that I am far from perfect and have no right to judge them, I respond by saying, "You are correct." I am not yet what I should be, but I am trying. When I fail, I ask God to forgive me and help me to avoid repeating that sin. As for judging, I do not judge. I observe and recognize that the behavior of family members is inconsistent with a profession of faith. And there is a difference between failing to live the perfect life because we are not yet perfect, and deliberately choosing to think, say, and do things that are sinful.
We must make a choice to think positively about others (I know, you are saying, "How can he write that when he is thinking so negatively about us?"). Well, I am thinking positively when I recognize a loved one is capable of living a more Christ-like life. If they were unable, that is different, but they know better and choose not to live according to what they know is His will. They know to think of the opposite sex in an impure manner is sin (Matt. 5:28). They know not to think they are superior to others (Lk. 18:11; Rom. 12:3). Think no evil (1 Cor. 13:5).
We are all guilty of gossip. I wish I could say that I am not fascinated with details of whispers, but I cannot. All I can do is try not to pass on the information, pray for those involved, and confess my sin of listening. Speaking ill of one's neighbor, voicing criticism without the motive of being constructive, and cursing are all forms of sin (Matt. 12:34-5; 15:18-19; Jam. 3:2-12). Speak no evil (Titus 3:2; Jam. 4:11).
We are much better at avoiding actions that God specifically condemns as sin. Still, claiming the liberty that we have as Christians, we are likely to do something that offends a brother (1 Cor. 8:8-13). We also commit sin by omitting those things we know we are to do (Jam. 4:17). Both action and inaction can be sinful. The Good Samaritan was good because he acted; the others, by comparison, were sinful for not acting (Lk. 10:30-37). Do no evil (2 Cor. 13:7; 3 Jn. 1:11).
What will it take for my family members to live for Christ? The same thing it will take for me: I will have to become totally Christ-like! Just as the Apostle Paul struggled with the battle between his flesh and the Spirit, all who have accepted Christ as Lord and Savior will constantly fight that battle until that wonderful day when the victory will be ours (Rom. 7:all; 1 Jn. 3:2)! Until then, let us make every effort to think no evil, speak no evil, and do no evil, for Christ's sake.