Everyone Has a Story
You know what their problem is. It is obvious and they are not hiding it. Maybe they have turned liberty into license. Maybe their convictions regarding dating and romance remind you more of the library’s policies regarding book loans than Paul’s exhortations on purity. Maybe they are a contentious, proud, and single-without-a-relationship-in-sight proponent of paedo-baptism. While some might try to accuse you of being judgmental, you are made even more confident of your conclusion with every interaction. Besides, the contents of their heart are freely regurgitated on facebook for all to see.
Is this you? It is often me. Recently, while a speaker was addressing the issue of loving the “unlovelies,” he made the observation that knowing someone’s story colors our response to their shortcomings. How many times how you made a strict judgment of someone, only to meet their parents and say to yourself, “I see where he gets it from.” Or formed a strong opinion against an overtly flirtatious youth and wondered why her parents didn’t train her better; only to later learn that her father is not involved and there is revolving door of her mother’s boyfriends coming into her home. It is safe to assume that everybody probably has a story. These stories do not justify license, looseness, or arrogance, but it might just reposture your heart for love and patience. Each of them is just as much a victim of sin as they are a perpetrator of it. Each of them are just as much in need of forgiveness and renewal as they are in need of healing and deliverance. They need a loving patience that sees their sin, offers them the hope of a holistic salvation, and lovingly bears with them. They need from us exactly what Christ offer to us.