That is the question that Christ has challenged me with lately.
Fortunately, Jesus answers the question quite clearly in the Book of Mark. In verse 30 he tells us how we are to love God and in verse 31 he tells us how to love others. Both of these top commandments relate back to LOVE.
- "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. verse 30
- "The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself." verse 31
Unfortunately, this is not always the easiest thing to do.
So here is the Deeper Question: If we have struggled with something in the past and have overcome it; does that give us the power or right to judge someone who is going through that same or similar situation now? Or are we to love?
For those that read have regularly read this blog, you'll know that I haven't always been in the best position with Christ. It took me many years to get to where I am now, and it took a few rough years of early marriage to really whip me into shape. I struggled with addictions; I pushed against the teachings of Christ and did whatever I could to never let myself get to close to Him. What was the price I almost paid for this selfishness; divorce, loneliness, bankruptcy and probably jobless. To this day I still look back and wonder how I could have strayed so far.
The question above has recently started making a bigger impact on my life. How? I have had to experience men that I have known for a long time, travel down the path of divorce and loneliness. They have chosen to live the life or take the path that I could have almost taken. Attempts have been made to help or assist them in making the right decisions, but they ultimately make their own decisions. I have had to listen to their lies, their excuses and about their new/ false life. How have I reacted? Sickened; almost broken. My spirit comes alive inside me and in one scenario mourns for their decisions, but in another becomes enraged in their latest actions! Am I to somehow show love to someone who is doing this? Do I have to because I at once also struggled? Or do I go at them with every tool I have in my belt? Judging their every choice!
The reality is that Jesus makes it quite clear that we are to LOVE. Maybe my hard time with talking to people going through similar situations is simply my own guilt. I don't feel like I have any right to express my opinion. But the other side of me says that I have been redeemed by the forgiving grace of Christ and that if approached correctly, my words will come across as love instead of judgments.
I don't think it will ever be easy, but I suppose Christ never said it would be easy. We have to remain faithful and believe that Christ will reveal to us the words to say to whomever we encounter.
So what do you think?
Are you more likely to love or to judge?
Share your thoughts or a similar story.