I have been hurt. Hurt by words and speculations of people who don't really know me. They only see the person I am from afar on any given Sunday or the person at the pool trying to survive the summer with 3 small children. I hear comments and remarks made about me that hurt to the core. In fact, they hurt to the point I feel as if my heart is bleeding. I have learned through the power of the Lord to be resilient and pull myself up again and move on, but then someone reminds me of the hurtful words and assumptions again and I am right back where I started. I understand I break the mold. I am not your average pastor's wife nor am I your typical mother of three. I am who I am. A girl just trying to be the women God loves. And yet, I realize how painful people's judgements and assumptions can be. They are only assuming things from what they see at a distance and on the surface. Any mistakes that I make are magnified by life in the fish bowl. And I often wonder, when I will be able to come up and take a breath.
I am realizing how little compassion we have as people. And the unfortunate thing is, most of the people with judgement are the people who say they know Jesus. The very people who have received the greatest, largest capacity of compassion that has ever been displayed and yet they tend to be the ones who throw the stones. I am so grateful that my Jesus doesn't throw stones. In fact He is always there ready to pick me up when I fall, not one to push me back down when I try to get up. He has compassion. He loves me in spite of my mistakes and sin and He will keep loving me through both. So why do we do it? Why are we such judgemental, hurtful people who forget who had compassion on us? Why can't we love like Jesus loves? Why doesn't our hearts extend the grace and compassion that our Jesus does?
Sometimes I wonder if the assumption is, once you've become a Christian you should have it all together...or at least act like we do. Then we begin the performance cycle that just takes us down a path that leads us to self-righteousness and we become our own god. We look down on others who call themselves Christians who have "messed up." We are so disappointed in their foolish decisions and in turn we end up making ourselves feel better because we seem to have it all together. And then we start living a life Jesusless. I think the entire reason people fall away from the Lord is simply because we as believers do such a poor job of loving and showing people who Jesus really is; A God who loves us in the pit, through the pit, and out of the pit.
I want to have compassion. I am tired of the assumptions and the accusations that tear people apart. I want to love like Jesus. I want to extend the grace like He did. I realize I am nothing but a ragamuffin fully pleasing to God in spite of my flaws. And yet their are expectations we place on people and are so disappointed when they fail us. We are quick to judge and slow to extend grace. I will always fail you. I am human and full of flesh. But I do love the Lord. I am trying by His grace and power to be the obedient women He needs me to be. Isn't that all He asks of me? So why are we so quick to ask perfection? I am just as guilty, considering my LARGEST FLAW is the battle with perfection.
So just have some compassion, you who call yourselves believers. The kind of compassion that extends the hand to the mom in the grocery store who has lost her cool because her kids are running circles around her instead of snarling at her because she raised her voice! The kind of compassion that loves the addict through yet another painful fall off the wagon instead of wondering when are they ever going to "get it." The kind of compassion that judges not from the outside but gives a person the chance to show you their heart instead of making assumptions about who they are based on appearance.
Jesus says "And so, as those who have been chosen of God, Holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you." Ah, if we would only do what Jesus asks of us then no one would deny the love of our Savior. No one!!
Until next time,