A few years ago I was walking in a mall with my hubby. As we strolled casually through the mall I was approached by a man trying to sell gym membership. I politely told him no thank you and proceeded to walk away when he yelled out that I could do with a gym membership. I was appalled by his comment and quite frankly hurt. It took a while for me to let it go, but I eventually did. If you had to put that same man in a lineup in front of me I would never be able to recognize him, but the lesson I learnt today from thinking about that memory has taught me something that will stick with me forever. You see, that man had no idea who I was, that I had had 3 children and was battling to get rid of my mommy pooch. He had no idea of my circumstances, nor my financial situation, I could definitely not afford a gym membership. He had no idea about the demons I fought off everytime I got dressed. He was simply ignorant and uninformed.

Often we do exactly the same in life. We see someone and immediately we start to think what that person needs to get their life together. Maybe we think they need to save more money, or quit drinking, or simply just pull themselves together and out of their rut. Maybe we think they should quit the job they are unhappy at and look for another one. We might think they need to take a chill pill or go and see a doctor. Yet at the end of the day we are just as ignorant and uniformed as that gym salesman.

Recently I have been rather tough with someone I love. I haven’t given this person a single shred of compassion because I believe their actions have lead them to exactly where they are. I’ve adopted the policy that you made your bed, so sleep in it. I mean we’ve been called to practice the fruits of the Holy Spirit and so many other Jesus-like qualities, but we fail daily because we are simply selfish people. We never put ourselves in other peoples shoes. We never show compassion or kindness unless we’ve deemed it necessary.

You see, God convicted me here in this department recently. When I saw the hopelessness and exhaustion in this loved ones face it was like I was looking in the mirror at myself. I too have felt hopeless and worn out. I have expected those that I love to treat me gently. So why didn’t I do the same when I was faced with what I believed to be deserved punishment.

We need to just stop….stop and think that the world doesn’t only revolve around “me”… Jesus loves all of us the same, we are ALL His children. We need to leave the judgement to God and do our best to live like Christ while we still have the opportunity to do so. I read a word today, the word ‘sonder’ according to Wiktionary.org means,  “The profound feeling of realizing that everyone, including strangers passing in the street, has a life as complex as one’s own, which they are constantly living despite one’s personal lack of awareness of it.”

Maybe sonder is a real word, maybe it isn’t, but I love the idea of it. We need to be people living and thinking outside of the box and of others. We need to stop being shallow and thinking shallow and start living in a way that would make Jesus proud.
We need to show love and compassion to the unloved and indifferent. We need to be kind to the cruel and gentle with those who are hard. You might not realize it now but by helping others, you actually help yourself in the end too.

I for one know it’s hard, but it’s not impossible. It will take patience and thinking before speaking, but we can do it.

I want you to read through the below Bible verses and meditate on it. Let God talk to you and show you what you need to learn to honour and glorify His name.

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Galatians 2:20 NIV

You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.
Galatians 5:13 NIV

For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Galatians 5:14 NIV

If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.
Galatians 5:15 NIV

So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.
Galatians 5:16 NIV

For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.
The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.
Galatians 5:17‭, ‬19‭-‬26 NIV

Let the Holy Spirit be your guide today and everyday going forward!