This week’s Youth Service talked a little about the Love of God and it led me to think about a particular area in my life that I’m struggling – bitching/gossiping. As I was surfing through the web, I chanced upon a podcast that spoke directly to me, and I hope by putting (my own transcription) this up, it will not only serve as a personal reminder, but also to edify people in the same boat as me. 🙂
From Joel Osteen Ministries.
“Seeing people through the eyes of Love.. Too often, we judge people without knowing their story. We haven’t walked in their shoes, we don’t know the struggles they’ve been through, we don’t know how they were raised/family background. We don’t know the challenges that they are facing right now! All we know and see is that “He’s super unfriendly” or “She shouldn’t wear that! (I’m guilty of this just exactly a day ago when I judged somebody whose name I don’t even know on her costume for DP)”, “I don’t know why they act that way”…etc. The TRUTH is there is a reason why people are the way they are! If we took time to know their story, we would be much more forgiving. If we understood the battles that they’ve fought, the pain they’ve endured, the people that have done them wrong, we would give them a lot more mercy. We wouldn’t be critical because they went through got a divorce, or they’ve ignored you (or supposedly unfriendly), because they’ve got an addiction… You don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes, you don’t know the stress that they are under.
For too long, we’ve seen people through eyes of judgment. The challenge now, for me is to start seeing people through the eyes of Love. Instead of being critical and writing them off, take time to get to know them. Find out what they are all about. God puts people in our lives not to be judged, but so that we can help bring healing. Every time we show mercy, every time we overlook a fault, every time we give people the benefit of a doubt, we’re bringing hope, restoration, healing to them.
When we understand people’s stories, we overlook a lot of their faults, we can understand where they are coming from, we can know how to respond. Too often, we judge people based on our own background, based on the experiences that we’ve been through. We are strong in an area where somebody is weak. It’s easy to think: “I wouldn’t have done that, I wouldn’t have gotten a divorce/smoked/clubbed. I wouldn’t even have married that person so I wouldn’t even have gotten a divorce like she did.” Now I wouldn’t have known what I would have or have not done if I have not walked in their shoes, would I? What gives me the right to judge how that particular person should live? I have not been raised in the same environment, have not gone through the same experiences. All of us have strengths, and all of us have weaknesses. We are strong in certain areas, not because we’re great, we just decided to be strong. BUT because of the Grace of God in our lives.
We gotta give people room. Everyone has the right to have a bad day. We can either see them through eyes of judgement – be hard and critical. Or see them through eyes of love, eyes of mercy, eyes of understanding. The key is THE WAY YOU SEE OTHER PEOPLE IS THE WAY THEY ARE GOING TO SEE YOU. The same seeds that you are sowing, you will reap.
One of the greatest traits that we can develop, is to BELIEVE THE BEST IN PEOPLE. (This is one of my hardest struggle as of now…too quick to make judgments, too quick to impose what I feel is right, too quick to think that whatever certain people do would be always wrong). We can all criticize, we can all find fault. People are human, they all make mistakes. They are all going to do things that we don’t understand. But the Scripture says Love overlooks the other person’s faults. Love makes room for weaknesses. Love doesn’t magnify a mistake.. Instead of taking comments, criticisms and bad things that people do to you personally, make allowances, show mercy, do what you can to show love.
There is always a behind story.
God put them there so that you can love them back into wholeness.
Don’t be part of the problem, be part of the solution.
Proverbs 15:4 “A gentle tongue brings healing“. Bring healing, not judgement on people.
When we are hard and critical, it just further pushes people down. 😦 Be the one who lifts them up and not the one who pushes people down.
My homework: Find out why they are the way they are. Show love. Put on the right set of eyes. See life from THEIR perspective, not from my own.
By His Grace, For His Glory,
That said, I leave you with this beautiful song – Blessings by Laura Story.