My bible reading this morning took me through John and the journey of Christ's death. I am appalled at the way he was treated and even in his last hours, the insults and criticism that were hurled at him. I have no idea how I would have reacted had I actually been in the situation... Probably not with the valor that I would hope. But in my mind I would tell everyone yelling at him how much he loves them and that love, not nails, are what is keeping him on that cross. They may not have wanted Jesus, but Jesus wanted them and so he endured the agony.
I think I do a pretty good job of loving others and offering hope and encouragement most of the time... It is how I am wired. However I can also be pretty impatient if someone is say, distracted and sitting in front of me at a green light, or I can get frustrated with my 16 year old dog when she is moving a little slower than I would like... And neither of those attributes are very becoming!
On a similar note; have you ever seen a homeless person on the street corner and thought they probably did something to deserve being there or wondered why they wouldn't get a job so they don't have to ask for money?
Whatever the situation may be, I paused to reflect on Matthew 25:42-43 and 45 which says "I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me… Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.
So today, I fast criticism of anyone no matter what the circumstance because Jesus knows each person by name and loves them just like he loves me. I pray to have his eyes so that I see everyone as he sees them and treat everyone as the precious son or daughter of the King that they are... Whether they know it or act like it or not!