I’m fed up. I pray that I never know enough to be a jerk about it. I want to be fully cognizant that the more I learn the less I know about myself, the people around me and the world I live in.
Why would this be my beef right now?
Because some people blamed Robin William’s death on his wife. Some tortured his grieving daughter on twitter. A church wants to boycott his funeral but a comedian has offered to pay for them to go protest ISIS instead.
As I do have a snarky side I’ll refrain from commenting further on that one.
Because some people rejoice at the challenges facing pastor Mark Driscoll.
Because some people are more concerned with dumping ice than reaching out to someone with ALS personally.
Because some people are more concerned with the size of someone’s waist than with the state of their heart.
Because when I was on vacation and met a homeless man, some preferred to ignore him rather than expressing compassion for his plight.
What’s the point in learning if we lose our heart? What’s the point in memorizing Scripture and being able to defend our faith in Jesus Christ if we never live out our faith? Yes, Scripture is clear. Learn sound doctrine. Defend the faith. But even more than that we are to let our actions speak louder than our words. We are to bear fruit.
To listen to another’s hurts and encourage them.
To treat people with respect–from your wife to the homeless man on the street to the pastor you only know through social media. Or has that our standard of truth nowadays?
I have strong opinions on many things – but if expressing them as an expert would throw up a roadblock to Christ, I try to refrain.
After all, God can be glorified in the life of someone who is:
- Democrat or Republican.
- A Packer or Bears fan or yes, even a Vikings fan
- Sends their kids to public school, private school or home-schools
- Vaccinate or choose not to
- Seeks traditional medicine for cancer or seeks alternative options.
- Whether you worship singing hymns or contemporary music
I’ve often said I am a champion navel-gazer. (for those who are confused, I’m talking about my belly button). Part of that though is my personality which enables me to write and serve in ministry like I do. It’s part of God’s unique design that I am introspective. But I hope I am never so self-absorbed to ignore the pain of another.
I probably swing too far the other way.
But the reality is, none of us can save anyone from the pain and challenges of life. We might speak words of love and encouragement. We might give money or food or meet other needs. But ultimately the deepest struggles we all face are at our core, spiritual. And knowledge can only go so far to heal those hurts.
We all need compassion. Understanding. Love.
We do not need condemnation, harsh words, hatred spewing out.
And part of me fears that I’ll come off as judgemental in even writing this post. After all, don’t the narcissists and self-righteous “know-it-alls” among us deserve compassion too? Sure, but not for those behaviors. Pity maybe.
Lord help us. There are people suffering in this world who desperately need us and not our deep-seated opinions. Give us humble broken hearts for those who hurt. Make us quick to listen and slow to speak. And help us recognize the divine opportunities you put in our path to be “Jesus with skin on” to those we meet.