“If you judge people, you have no time to love them.” ―Mother Teresa
Today I visited two of my doctors. The first is a very skilled surgeon who I have always found kind and caring. Today however, his frustration with my incision not healing like we all want it to, seemed to seep out and cut right into my soul. Instead of removing my staples and stitches, he put more in. He was right in doing that I am sure, but in his frustration he missed my discouragement and unintentionally stepped on my fragile heart. What I needed was understanding, compassion, and hope (God’s love) that this season of my life will soon end. Instead, I was met with what felt like quiet judgement and disdain.
As I walked down the hall from my surgeon’s exam room to my neurologist’s room, tears welled up in my eyes. When my neurologist came in, he saw my tear-stained face and gently asked if I was OK. The dam opened and I cried. I’m not sure all that I said to him but in just a few seconds all the frustration of the last couple of years poured out of me.
Reaching over he put his hand on my leg, smiled and said, “It isn’t your job to fix your incision. It is our job to think about why it doesn’t heal well.” He then talked about how it is also their job to find out why I have a new lesion in my brain and that asking me to just be content with these changes without explanations or plans isn’t fair to me at all. I can’t even tell you the relief I felt when he didn’t look down his nose at me but rather embraced me, had compassion on me and gave me room to be broken without judgement or blame. His choice of love opened the door for my heart to heal again.
As I drove home, I couldn’t help but openly ponder why it is so easy for all of us to judge when in reality all we want is to be loved? Consider with me just a few examples.
Today is election day in the United States. By most accounts, the country is split down the middle. By the time the votes are counted and our next President announced, close to 50% of the nation will be thrilled while the other devastated. No matter the results, each side has spent the past year judging the others. Those who are for Obama consider those for Romney small-minded and uneducated. Those for Romney openly state those who are voting for Obama are, “Dumber than a box of rocks”, and “blind”. There is almost no compassion on either side that is for sure. Why?? Because judgement is so much easier than love.
Consider also with me how two of my dear friends Ted and Gayle Haggard have been treated for almost 7 years now. Some of you know Ted was once pastor of a mega church here in Colorado Springs. Like me, he is human and has frailties. Due to his brokenness, Ted fell into sin. By God’s amazing grace, Ted and Gayle (as well as their children) stayed intact as a family and worked through their hurt, disappointment and shame. Now they serve and love those in their lives yet many would rather they just stay hidden bound by lack of hope. Why??? Because judgement is so much easier than love.
Just because judgement is easier than love – it is not what we as Christ followers are called to do.
Luke 6:31-36 31 Do to others as you would like them to do to you. 32 “If you love only those who love you, why should you get credit for that? Even sinners love those who love them! 33 And if you do good only to those who do good to you, why should you get credit? Even sinners do that much! 34 And if you lend money only to those who can repay you, why should you get credit? Even sinners will lend to other sinners for a full return. 35 “Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked. 36 You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.
- Love is a choice.
- Love heals.
- Love comes from the very heart of God
- While it is not always the easier choice – it certainly is the best.
Mother Tersea said it so much better than I can…
“People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway. If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway.
If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway. The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway. Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway. For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.” ― Mother Teresa