Mary Elizabeth Chapman said, “There’s a little good in the worst of us, and a little bad in the best of us, so it never behooves any of us to criticize the rest of us.” Mrs. Chapman is the grandmother to three of singer, Amy Grant’s older children.
Oh, to remember her wisdom, as we rub shoulders with people in our day-to-day lives. The peers at work, who do not perform as hard as they should; the man standing at the corner holding a sign which reads “Homeless”; the woman who is always at church, who doesn’t seem to give folks a second chance; the retiree in the neighborhood who regularly stares at people from his window, as they walk to their mailbox; the teen released from drug rehab; and the person who embarrassed his family with his immoral actions.
It’s so easy to make a judgment call regarding everyone else, except for ourselves. Shouldn’t we look at people through eyes of love, since we wear our own crusty flaws? How does God see all of us? According to Romans 5:8, while you and I were still “in the sinning state”, God loved us and pursued us. Yes, we are the guilty ones.
The ancient prophet Jeremiah said, “And you have brought this upon yourselves by rebelling against the Lord your God, even though He was leading you on the way!” (2:17 NLT) This is the thing, all of us sin, and some of us get caught. However, some of us don’t wait to get caught, before making things right with God, while some of us remain in major denial.
Consider two men. One was religious, and one defrauded people. Let’s listen to Jesus tell the story:
“Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a despised tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer: ‘I thank you, God, that I am not like other people-cheaters, sinners, adulterers. I’m certainly not like that tax collector! I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income.’ But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.’ I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” (Luke 18:10-14, NLT)
I’m silenced, as probably you are. No words. I judged someone recently who committed one of those sins that causes people to say: “Eww!” or “Yuck!” The ironic thing is, Isaiah said, “We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags…” (64:6a) Who in your life, do you need to look at, through God’s eyes of love? Pray for them and yourself.
pictures courtesy of “Nelson & his Nikon”