I read a post the other day of a lady who was in a store parking lot and witnessed a young mom place her two young children (both under the age of five) in the car, roll down the widows just a bit, lock the vehicle and return to the store for a five minute span of time. The person posting simply stood a ways off, watching over the vehicle, until the mother returned.
There were various comments following, many on either side of choosing right or wrong for this situation. On the one side, the comments ranged from how terrible that mother was, how she should have been reported, and how dangerous the situation was for those children. The opposite side stated how the mother was obviously going through a tough time, how she must be a single parent doing her best, and how judgmental those persons must be who were against her.
This scenario and posts got me to thinking, and it caused me to realize one thing: we are all human, and we all have incredible opinions for each scenario we encounter. Each one of us looks at things from different perspectives, and that’s the way God made us. We all enter the viewpoint of a situation from our own judgmental advantage.
Who’s to say what that young lady was going through? Who’s to say she is or isn’t a hard-working single mom or a selfish, neglective parent? We don’t know her, and we don’t know her situation; so, all we do is assume onto her situation what we want and proceed to get mad at someone else, because they don’t agree with our “right” (or self-righteous) opinion.
As Christians, why don’t we look to Jesus and pray for this young mom and her kids? We don’t know what she’s going through, AND we don’t know what those kids are going through. We have no idea if she needs a ‘bucket full of grace’ or a good ‘kick in the bucket.’ Truth is, it’s not really our judgement call to make on either side.
Truth is, she probably needs a helping hand (or a guardian to watch over her littles), a good talking to AND a lot of love, but it shouldn’t be up to us to decide which of those is more important. What is up to us is to look at the situation with wisdom and grace. Wisdom would say, “Report that incident; so, it doesn’t happen again.” Grace would say, “Love her and give her a second chance that she may not deserve.”
Too often, we are too quick to assume into a situation our own opinions and conclusions that, sometimes, have no bearings on the truth of the matter. Look at the various moments in Scripture when Jesus had confrontations with people: the woman at the well, the Pharisees, the adulterous woman, the rich young ruler, Blind Bartemaus… When Jesus reached to those in need, He gave truth AND love. He responded differently and the same to each one. He never used their situation, nor their pain, as an enablement for sin nor an excuse for self-righteousness. He confronted the sin, gave grace for repentance and hope for change. He’s called us to follow in His footsteps. That’s our job: to be more like Him. 😉
My prayer is to be more like Him each and every day. Sometimes, I feel as if I do pretty good, and other days, I wonder if I will ever get it right! However, the goal is all about Him, and if we can keep Him at the forefront, we will be able to reach more than if we simply rely on our own opinions and perspectives as our guide. 💕