Wow. The first time I read that quote I thought, “THAT IS SO TRUE!“. Christ is Love, He is forgiveness and understanding. He is grace and acceptance and tolerance and all of the things that we can’t possibly fathom being because, despite our vanity in thinking we are like Him, we are NOT.
I hope I don't sound too soapbox-ey here and I know I am far from perfect, but this has weighed on my heart and mind for a while now. So, here are my thoughts...
When Christ was misunderstood, do you think He just walked away and said, “oh well, I’ll find a new circle”? No, He explained Himself and He showed His true heart. He didn’t worry about whether or not He would be accepted. He knew right from wrong and, as painful as it may have been, He didn’t lose His values to accommodate anyone else. But, He also didn't just walk away.
On the flip side...when a friend is gossiping or complaining or has truly hurt someone else, why do we stand by them? Is it because it is too hard to tell them our real feelings? Are they not worth the discussion or potential argument? Do we stand by them for some other gain, whether it be physical, emotional or even financial?
Jesus did not do this. He did not say, “well, I know what those people have done and said is wrong or hurtful, but they are fun to hang out with! Let’s not care about that”. He did not say, “I’m sorry to hear that person has upset you and done horrible things to you, but they are doing a really good job at spreading my Word so I’m good with it”.
Christ would encourage all of us to love one another. He would encourage those who treat others badly to just STOP. He would encourage those who are crushed in spirit to have faith and give grace to others.
Did He tell us to forgive? Absolutely! Not just 7 times, but 70 times 7 times. That is a lot of “I’m sorrys”. If you are the one asking for forgiveness maybe you should just stop doing what you have to apologize for and the need for your continued apologies will fade away? Maybe you should recognize the grace being extended to you by others (over and over again) and embrace it, be grateful for it, return some of that grace.
God loves us as we love our own children…He actually loves us even more, which is unfathomable. We don’t judge our own children so who are we to judge another’s thoughts, words and actions? Wouldn’t this world be a better place if we listened more and judged less?
When a friend comes to me with an issue that is weighing on their mind, I often try to put myself in their shoes. There are many situations that I just don’t understand, some that I sort of get and some that I totally relate to. But it is not my place to judge. What upsets one person may be absolutely nothing to another. Yet we still pass judgment…”I can’t believe she said that!”, “I can’t believe that hurt her feelings!”, “I can’t believe she acted that way!”.
So let the quote below sink in. Do we want to be Christians or do we want to be like Christ? The difference is huge 🙏🏻☦️