The past week or so has been a time of deep reflection (well, in the moments I couldn’t distract myself with mindless entertainment).
I’ve realized something: my life is nowhere near as difficult as I think it is. Walking in love is hard, and I’ve been coming up with excuses to not do it…flimsy ones at that. I truly do not wish to be a nice person. I know we’re all different and we ought not to compare ourselves to others, but when I look at the things distressing me, versus the things distressing others in my life, I have to admit it: I’ve been a baby and another word beginning with ‘b’.
It’s been a crazy season for many people in my life, and I’ve been wondering how I’d respond in their situations. Yes, I know the right thing, but I also know myself well enough to face the reality that knowing the right thing is no guarantee that it’ll get done. Like, I don’t think people generally consciously decide to walk away from their principles. Sometimes, circumstance makes the wrong decision easier–the same way it often does for me.
Point? Most people are not ignorant of what the right thing is. It’s just that the right thing doesn’t always seem right to them or right for them. I think Christians have a tendency to throw Scripture at people without remembering the people themselves. I’m all for sharing God’s truth, and that won’t change. What I’ve found, though, is that sometimes people and I don’t have the same view of God. Sometimes, people feel so dirty, so ashamed, so insert-appropriate-adjective-here that they expect others and God to feel the same way. No wonder the Bible says to speak the truth in love. What’s the point of sharing God’s truth without God’s love behind it?
So, I’ve been thinking. Your shoes don’t make you blind to truth, but they might make truth less appealing. In your shoes, would I respond any differently? I’ve been given several scenarios to consider over the past couple months, and I can see what I’ve known for most of my life. I’m not different, no better than anyone else. In fact, I just may be worse.
In the words of a reformed slave ship captain:
How sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me! …
‘Tis grace that brought me safe thus far
And grace will lead me home.
“Amazing Grace” – John Newton
Whatever truth we stand for, may we remember God’s love for all, as well as this basic truth: Christians aren’t better people; we’re simply products of grace.