"Most times you can't hear 'em talk, Other times you can. All the same old clichťs, ĎIs that a woman or a man?í"
In Bob Segarís song, ďTurn the Page,Ē he talks about the pain of stardom and life on the road. Among them the caustic remarks by some who thought his appearance lacked character. So they poked fun and judged.
Iíve felt the pain too. Sometimes personally and at other times for someone else. Divorced, tattooed, unpaid debts, repossessions, living together, addictions, long hair, married too many times, unkempt appearance, not a churchgoer, mixed marriage, mixed children. All messages shouting ďThese arenít our kind of people.Ē Sadly, they frequently come from Christiansóthe last people on earth who should spout them.
Most of the religious elite didnít like the caliber of people Jesus hung around with either: tax collectors, prostitutes, lower class, divorced, multiple marriages, living together, cheats. But he quickly reminded them that I have come to callÖthose who know they are sinners and need to repent (Luke 5:32 NLT).
Godís church should be the place walking wounded come for healingÖand it often is. If Iím not careful, my traditions and prejudices will keep me holding at armís length the very people Jesus wants me to help heal. So when Iím feeling a little superior, I remind myself that only Godís grace keeps my life from being the shambles theirs is.
Jesus didnít reject anyone who sincerely turned to himÖnor did he judge them for their mistakes. Accepting everyoneónot necessarily their actions, is a challenge Iím only up to with Godís assistance. But it fulfills Godís command to love everyone as he does. After all, itís not the well folks who need the doctor.
When youíre tempted to judge, find a reason to love instead.
Prayer: Merciful Father, as You forgive our foibles and accept us as Your own, so enable us to look beyond otherís shortcomings and love them as You do. www.lovelinesfromgod.com
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