Lately, God has – once again – started softening my heart about certain things. These “things” mostly concern our humanity and how we treat each other both in and out of the Family of God. Maybe this spiritual atmosphere has been brought about by the current divisive political season or news plastered here and there concerning moral failings of “Christians” that I recognize. It could be a creation of sermons that I have listened to or one too many commentaries by the media elite. Possibly, it is a cumulative effect from all of the above.
Now, before I go on, let me affirm that I do not believe in giving sin a free pass. I am fully aware that we live in a depraved world that is truly sin sick and sin requires judgement. Yet, lately it seems that I see more condemnation and less reconciliation or compassion or even basic concern for the hurting and those deluded by the very sin that condemns them. Whew, that was a bit “wordy” but that is what is assaulting my spiritual sensibilities at the moment. I fear that we “Christians” many be losing our ability to “walk in the other guy’s shoes,” as it were. Of course, that was not an all-inclusive statement, but a general one. Most of us can agree that we live in a world that is heading quickly to the final Judgement, which will be conducted by the One True Judge. It is His job to sentence individuals based upon His rules and His perfect position to do so. Our job – as a wise brother recently said – is to pass the salt and turn on the Light. ( Colossians 4:6 & John 8:12 )
Ok, let me try to tie all of these thoughts together a bit. God has been dealing with me to do a better job in attempting to understand those around me. Even though it is not easy to do, but can we first exercise empathy and compassion rather than judgement and condemnation? Can we allow our hearts to become soft and impressionable rather than hard and predetermined? I believe we can if we have the desire to do so and if we focus more on the teachings of Jesus than we do on the world at large. It is way too easy to get caught up in the negative rhetoric of the world and neglect our obligation to share the love of Jesus with all people, event those who are unlovely or different from us.
I pray the Lord will help me to “walk in the other guy’s shoes” before I rush to condemn him (or her) and be more apt to start a dialog about the Hope of Christ before I blindly condemn a soul as unworthy. Join me in this. Amen.