I wonder sometimes why we are so quick to attack the weak or broken. With the popularity of philanthropy in this country, and so much media created to inspire, it would seem we have a culture that promotes the virtues of caring for others.
It would appear, however, that we still feel we hold the rights to determine who is worthy of such compassion.
We coddle the drug addicted, and trash the weary mom. Promote advocacy for our criminals, while annihilating our neighbor for that decision we don’t agree with. We place blame for loss and criticize opposing opinions to the point of invalidating the feelings and essential value of our “opponents.” Apparently, we need to be “really needy” before we are allowed the opportunity for grace.
Years ago, during a season of trial, someone near to me took it upon themselves to email me all that they felt I had done wrong; all the things they felt were flawed in my decision-making, my belief system and character. One remark was made about my “supposed happiness.” The thing was, they were right – I WAS struggling with being happy. But I was doing my very best to do all I could to make the best of the situation, choose faith, and make decisions that hopefully would propel me forward in a positive direction. What still strikes me is that I was essentially being blamed for the conditions I was navigating at the time. Instead of a helping hand, I was offered a shove down.
Criticism can stifle.
Over the years I have been amazed at some of the comments I have been made privy to in conversation. And, if I were to be completely transparent, I myself am guilty of sometimes choosing to withhold my grace for others in light of their words or deeds. But I am also quickly reminded of the words that have caused me to stumble as well, and choose to change words of criticism into sentiments of prayer and hope.
I think we could ALL use a little more of that.