As I watched the news this morning, I saw multiple stories of people buying, selling, or using heroin in the vicinity of small children. As a mom, I scoffed and thought how stupid could they be? How selfish?
While I let these awful thoughts roll around in my highly self-righteous mind, the Holy Spirit whispered softly, “But I love them…”
I don’t know what is going on where you live, but here in rural New Hampshire, heroin use and overdose is on the rise and is seemingly everywhere. I realized how much I keep this at arm’s length and don’t let it penetrate my heart. I see the mug shots and the court room scenes on the news, and judge. I don’t pray…do you?
Please know that I am not making excuses for these people, but I am questioning why my first reaction is to judge instead of love. Where is my compassion? How can I forget, that I too sin and fail? “…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…” Romans 3:23
I often have this attitude with celebrities when they fall too. I rush to judge. I laugh at all the memes that fly around social media, but I am left feeling sad…empty…not laughing anymore.
As a Christian, as someone who spends time every day in God’s transforming word, this is unacceptable! Lord, help me! Help me to have compassion like you do/did when you see/saw hurting people.
When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. Mark 6:34
After some prayerful thought, I believe part of the empty feeling that comes after harshly judging someone is that I am not acting in love…I use 1 Corinthians 13 as a sign post to weigh if my actions, thoughts, and words are loving or not.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres. Love never fails. 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8
My thoughts were NOT loving. They were prideful, dishonoring of others, easily angered, delighted in the punishment of others and not protective. Lord forgive me!
May I see these people as You do, Lord Jesus. May my first reaction be love and compassion for them. If I see their mug shots, may my first reaction be to pray for them and lift them before Your throne of grace. Even if I fail, I know You won’t, because love never fails and YOU ARE LOVE!!!