Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Animal In All Of Us

It really seems like God has been testing me so much lately, and teaching me through it all. I must admit, I am quick to judge other people. I shouldn't, it is absolutely not my place to do so (pretty sure I went over this in another blog). But, though I am trying very hard to overcome this problem (with God's help), it still happens. God showed me how wrong I've been in judging a certain group in particular. That group? Criminals. It's funny, how quickly we "upstanding" citizens jump to conclusions about those who have been arrested. I, myself, tend to look at their mug shots and think, "Well, yeah, just look at them. It's no surprise that they're in jail." Or, "What a horrible person, I hope they get punished severely." Holy reality check. To find out that the hilarious, goofy, crazy, sweet-natured boy that I used to babysit was arrested, and for a triple murder...I was in shock. My only thought was, "How?" And then. The judgement. This time it wasn't from me. Everyone else and their mother, commenting on newspaper articles, posting on Facebook, etc. All of the opinions, "They deserve a public hanging"; "Those kids have no souls" ; "Their friends and families are the scum of the earth." It went on and on. Holy man. I never realized how our words hurt more than just the person we are judging. It can hurt those that care about them. Being judgmental certainly even hurts our own hearts. Hoofta.

The thing I've realized, which I chose to ignore before...is that we are ALL criminals in God's eyes. We've ALL sinned (Romans 3:23). To hate someone is to murder them (1 John 3:15). People in prison need Jesus just as much as people outside, if not more. Every human being on this planet has a soul, a soul that will spend an eternity in one of two places. An inmate's hope for a future on earth is pretty bleak (especially if they're serving a life sentence). For some of them, hope for an eternal life with Jesus is the only thing that will keep them going through the years of imprisonment.

I know God has a purpose for all the pain. I'm not certain what that purpose is, but maybe part of it is to minister to those who are going through something difficult. God's been making me more aware of those around me, of the sufferings of the world. He's softening my heart, and I will be a friend to someone who most people will despise. I will do my best to show Jesus' love to him. And maybe it won't change Tanner's life, but hopefully sometime, somewhere down the road it will make a difference to someone. I know, with all of my heart, that God will use these trials for His Glory.

Always,
Jaci

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