“At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.”– Titus 3: 3-7
It is so difficult to walk in this broken world. Especially when you are watching kids make poor decisions with their lives, children suffering because parents choose to live an unhealthy lifestyle instead of caring for their needs, people homeless, people “bumming” off the system in order to live, and much more.
It is even more difficult to practice empathy. We look at some of these people and think, “They need to get a job and work like I do!” or “They need to get their priorities straight!” or “If they would get their lives together and figure out how to be productive citizens!”
The sad part is, these thoughts come out of the mouths of people who profess Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
It can be expected from the world, people who are selfish and focused on their own needs, but not by people who follow a faith that calls them to die to their self and care for their neighbor as they would themselves.
Another phrase you will hear people say, “Those people just need Jesus.”
When we look at people who are struggling in their life, it is important to remember that you could have been in their same spot. Without Jesus Christ, we would all be wandering and lost. We would all be apt to turn to alcohol, drugs, prostitution, stealing, lust, etc. We would have no hope.
Through Jesus, we should be made new. Our thoughts should be renewed to His in order to see people beyond their lifestyle, but as the creation. Granted, they are still remnant of the broken creation, but creation nonetheless. They are seeking something to make them whole. They are seeking someone to rescue them.
Since we, who claim Jesus, carry the only name that saves, then we should be the people stepping into the lives of those longing to discover their Creator. Longing to know someone cares. Longing to know there are people out there who will look beyond their exterior and seek their interior.
You see, empathy is walking in another’s shoes and putting ourselves in their situation. Without Jesus, it wouldn’t be too difficult.
Followers of Christ are not called to look down on anyone, but to get to the ground with them in order for them to see the hope and light of a Savior who loves them for who they are.
May we remember we all sin. May we remember we all have struggles. May we remember that everyone needs Jesus, even those who already have Him.
It is not about us accepting Him, but Him accepting us. We choose to follow, but He chose to give His life for us. We have no right to claim superiority over another, especially if they are lost, just like we were before we found Him.
May we be thankful for our Savior who rescued us and made us heirs of eternal life.
Peace and blessings friends.
QUESTION: What are you thankful for this season?