There is a lady who brushes you in the mall, you look up expecting an apology, but to your surprise you get a stern look as if you did something wrong. Unapologetically she screams at you, “Watch where you are going!”
A department manager is the life of all things death. He gives everyone a hard time. In fact, if employees ask for days off, he gives them more hours during the requested time, and extremely unpleasant to be around.
The pastor at a friend’s church seems like a nice guy but when he preaches it’s full of hate and judgment. You like the church and would possibly even join, but the pastor never cuts anyone any slack, there is no Grace preached, making everyone feel like they’re going to hell.
So out of those 3 scenarios can you think of any reason why these characters would act out so negatively? I’m sure some of you easily thought hatred, meanness, or some of you probably went on a limb and thought that they don’t have the Love of Christ. The honest answer is we really don’t know. Let me throw a curve ball your way. What if the real reason why the lady in Example #1 acted so violently was due to verbal abused as a child? Consequently, the only way she knows how to communicate is verbally abusive. Though she has had many friendships in the past, she never could keep them because of others being fed up with her verbal lashes every time something went wrong. What if the only thing she needed was someone to have patience with her, to tolerate her verbal explosions enough to show her a better way to communicate? Now apply the same what if’s to Example 2 and 3. How many “what if” situations could you possibly be in right now, but you’ve failed to extend yourself beyond your own offense. It’s easier to judge someone and write them off by their actions alone. What we have to take into consideration is that actions and behaviors are just mere fruit. They are a product of something deeper than what we can see at surface. In most cases people don’t enter in the world hateful, sad, and/or depressed. I do believe that they can easily learn how to be the aforementioned though. Negative behavior is taught and passed to others way more fluently than positive behavior. I want to challenge you today to take into consideration what just might be going on in others life, you might be the only lifeline someone has, you might be graced with “that” hug that snaps someone’s life back into place. Ask God to give you the Grace to deal with all people – the good, the bad, and the ugly – the gay, transgendered, or straight – any race, culture, and/or creed – whoever, however, whenever – that you may be a beacon of light and an immeasurable flow of His Love!