I have read a few books over the last months that have really challenged me in how I love people. “You and Me Forever” by Francis Chan was more about my relationship with the Lord and serving His people than it was about marriage. And “Tattoos on the Heart” by Greg Boyle with Homeboy Industries is a beautiful testimony of how people need Jesus but they won’t know Him without finding love first.
We all battle judgement, both in feeling judged and in judging others. I’m not sure anyone can go anywhere without knowing judgement. And judgement is equal opportunity – singles, couples, poor, rich, men, women, moms, dads, kids, outcasts, celebrities…the list goes on and on. Unfortunately, it’s part of our flawed human nature. But that doesn’t mean we have to accept it or let it handicap us.
Jesus never held back when he spoke about this world would treat His people:
“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.” – John 15:18-25
If the world hates us, why not be the love that the world needs? We seem so caught up in telling people how they ought to live, that we forget that people need love first. Our job here on earth is not to judge the actions and hearts of others, but to point people to Christ who is the ultimate judge and Lord. “The self cannot survive without love, and the self starved of love, dies” quote by James Gilligan.
Sometimes I use “accountability” as my disguise for judgement. Or I state my opinions as fact even when I don’t know the full story or the other person’s perspective. I’m slowly learning this lesson and I am repenting for all the times I have spoken out unnecessarily and hurt people. I’m sorry if I have brought up insecurities or echoed Satan’s lies to you.
Let’s stop hurting people. Let’s stop judging people. Let’s find people to love.
I think I need this tattooed on my forehead as a reminder to myself and to anyone else who is willing to accept the challenge (not a real tattoo). I want my words to encourage people to know that their worth comes from God and not from the world. I want them to know love and not judgement.