Those of us who are strong and able in the faith need to step in and lend a hand to those who falter, and not just do what is most convenient for us. Strength is for service, not status. Each one of us needs to look after the good of the people around us, asking ourselves, “How can I help?“
When we look at one another with a critical eye we become blinded to our own shortcomings. If we search for all that is wrong, we will find it. However, if we search for what is praiseworthy, we will focus on that.
Our perspective on this is the difference between cynicism and optimism. We cannot love effectively without losing some critical vision. It is love and only love that covers a multitude of sins.
Why is it that we tend to judge others in the areas where we ourselves do not struggle?
Perhaps it is because we only see their outward action and fail to see their inward motivation. So what we cannot see is the underlying fear, the pain, sadness, guilt, shame, loneliness, doubt or host of other besetting issues they may be acting out of. It is when we see the cause rather than just the symptoms that we discover how much common ground there really is.
Whatever our own personal weaknesses, they tend to tie back to the same roots. The enemy knows our tendencies and he customizes his attacks accordingly. This is why we must look deeper than what we see on the surface. Beneath it all we look the same in more ways than not.
So let us not stand with crossed arms and walls around our hearts. Rather, let us stand with arms ready to embrace and hearts that long to meet the broken in their individual places of need. Is this not the same way that Jesus has embraced each one of us?
~ Mitch Salmon