At the end of the last post, I asked, if David refused to hurt Saul because Saul was God’s anointed, how much more should we refuse to insult His children? After all, a son or daughter is more important than a servant, no matter the servant’s position.
When we feel bad about ourselves, we generally don’t like other people. Whether it’s a way to shift some of the bad feelings off of ourselves so we can cope with them or because we’re seeing others through the same dark lenses we see ourselves, it’s usually easy to insult or judge others when you’re down on yourself.
There are several problems with this:
1. It’s unfair to everyone else. I remember several times where one of my friends would reject me or treat me unfairly. I would get angry, which was sometimes justified, but then refuse to forgive, which never is. From that time until I actually forgave them, I would question their motives behind everything they did, find fault with things that were entirely innocent, and essentially villainize them. You may not be that bad, but any time you insult or judge someone, you show that you lack confidence yourself. If you truly believed you were valuable, there would be no reason to judge them because nothing they can do could lower your value.
2. It hurts you. I’m not just talking about the relationships that you’re refusing to let grow or heal, but because berating someone else will never make you feel better. It may relieve a little stress, but the high is temporary and when you come down from it, you still have the same mess as before to go along with the guilt of judging that person.
3. Whatever the other person has done to us, they are still God’s creation, every bit as much as we are. Whether they’re Christians or not doesn’t really matter as far as whether we should forgive and love them. The only thing that matters is that God loves them as much as He loves you.
If you had a puppy and someone came over and kicked it, you’d be angry with them. You wouldn’t say that the matter is between this person and Fido; you’d take it as a personal affront. How much more would God take it as a personal affront when we attack His children? Every insult or judgment you make is effectively saying that another creation of God isn’t good enough in your eyes. It’s arrogant and, more importantly, dead wrong.
Before you insult or judge someone do a couple things:
1. Ask yourself if you really understand them and their motives. I used to judge people for having pre-marital sex. I don’t now, partially because I know how great sex is, and partially because I’ve realized that if I didn’t believe in God and/or thought there was nothing at all wrong with getting sex outside marriage, I would have been seeking it, too. If someone doesn’t have God reigning over their life, it’s easy to see how sex can be sought after so much. Try putting yourself in the other person’s position to see if you can understand them.
2. Even if you can’t understand, let it go. God is the judge of them, not you. You’re no better, no holier, no more worthy of love. You are a sinner who would be doomed to hell for eternity if not for God’s mercy. There is no room for judgment on your part for anyone because no one deserves a worse punishment.