Let's just get this out of the way first. I like to judge people. I'm especially fond of judging people who judge me (or might judge me) first. That's fair. Right? Justified even.
Except it's not. And that's how I found myself wide awake in the middle of last night repeating in my head, "Judge not, lest you be judged." Apparently the Holy Spirit doesn't take naps.
I like to judge people I don't know about things they should or shouldn't be doing. I have an opinion on situations I know nothing about. I want people to see me as a whole picture offering grace for my faults and love for my insecurities, but I don't want to do that for other people. Ever really.
Oh, I can act spiritually appropriate when I have to. I can offer endless grace to people I love and like. I can forgive and forget anything you do. As long as I want to.
And it's possible, on a good day, that I'm not as bad of a person as I think. Maybe.
As I returned to the Gospels this morning, I paid attention to how Jesus walked. We don't see him gossiping with the disciples. We don't find him telling everyone about the woman at the well. You know, as a prayer request. We just see him loving all people all the time.
And it isn't that he's just a nice guy who doesn't want to hurt anyone's feelings. He stepped on everyone's toes. In love. To make them better. To make them like Him.
I'm called to do the same. Not to those I want to. Not to the ones who are like me. Not when I feel like it. Not when they don't judge me. Everyone. All the time.
It doesn't mean I can never have an opinion. It doesn't mean I can't verbally hash things out with my people. It just means at the root of who I am, in the midst of any situation, in response to every injustice and every hurt, I love. Bitterness will kill me. Anger steals my joy. And being mean spirited makes Jesus cry. And I try not to do that!
Not because we know everything. Not because we're more spiritual than the rest of the world. And certainly not because we have it all together.
No. They'll know we are Christians........by our love.