We each need to make the choice: to make the best or the worst of what we see in others. What do we truly want to see? Do we have blinders on and can only see one way? “There is so much good in the worst of us, And so much bad in the best of us, that it hardly becomes any of us, to talk about the rest of us.” ~ E.W.Hoch
We all need to be reminded of what truly lies within us. Sadly, it is sin even in the best and worst of us. Do we deal harsher with the sins of our neighbors than our own sinfulness? To say others are bad and we have no faults is to lie and we will always be deceived. “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” (1 John 1:8)
There is no doubt about it, everyone has weak points and faults. Not one of us is without faults. Romans 3: 23 tell us, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Upon seeing the faults of others, we can see a rotten sinner or we can see a struggling sinner. By looking for the good and seeing past the sinful man, we can hope for equal treatment from our fellow man and our Heavenly Father. “Be ye therefore merciful, as your father also is merciful.” (Luke 6:36) “Teach me to feel another’s woe, to hide the fault I see; That mercy I to other’s show, that mercy show to me.” ~ Alexander Pope
We need to be kind and understanding about other’s weaknesses. Obviously, we cannot ignore the sin that we may see, for that is not what our Heavenly Father teaches us. Christ loved the sinner, but not the sin. If possible, we should help the struggling sinner. Maybe we can influence them in a positive way. We should never be harsh and uncaring. Even if all we can offer is a smile and a sincere prayer, we need to give that freely. We do have an influence from what we say and do. “Let no man imagine that he has no influence.” ~ H. George
We need to be ready to understand and to forgive, even as we hope to be understood and forgiven. “Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven.” (Luke 6: 37) We should try putting ourselves in the place of others and truthfully ask ourselves how we would want to be thought of or treated if we were in their place.
This important choice is only ours to make: to find the best in our neighbors or to find the worst. We can build up or tear down. With everyone that we come in contact with, we should extend the law of kindness. We may be uncomfortable with certain individuals, but we all know that Christ himself stepped out of His “comfort zone.” We should not be critical and harsh. Do not take a magnifying glass when you meet someone and examine him or her. Forbid it that anyone should do the same to us! We are told to examine ourselves in 2 Corinthians 13: 5 and not others.
“God has not called us to see through each other, but to see each other through.” ~ Horace Moody
With our choice we can be like Christ. Or we can choose as Satan would be, and have ignorance and meanness in an unforgiving heart. Bitterness and unforgiveness are a state of being that after a while you get so accustomed to it that you do not even realize the continual hardening of your heart. “But exhort one another daily, while it is called today; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.” (Hebrews 3:13)
We need to choose wisely, and to remember that we all will reap what we sow. Galatians 6: 7 tells us, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” This short poem, taken from Leaves Of Gold, tells us so clearly that: “If we sow good, good will be given to us. If we sow mercy, we reap mercy. If we sow forgiveness, we shall be forgiven. Sow love and love shall be returned to us. The Judge and Creator of all things is the equalizer.”
God has planned for us all to be saved and live with Him in Glory. We must remember that all people are worth understanding. We need to try to understand why others do and say what they do. We can only see the good in people if we have goodness in our hearts. We can only help others to do better by being good ourselves. We would desire for others to see the good in us, so why not look for the good in others? We can extend a helping hand, teach and pray for others. And when our hand of friendship is struck down, we should not walk away with meanness in out hearts and unkind words on our tongues.
When we do see the worst in others, we can be kind and help in any way possible. We can stand firm in what is right and never coddle the sin. Some people walk a harder road in life and we need to be sure we do not cause them any more hurt or to stumble. There are some terrible people out in the world, but we can offer a sincere prayer for them and their misfortunes.
“…there is none good but one, that is, God…” (Matthew 19: 17)
“And ye are Christ’s and Christ is Gods.” (1 Cor. 3:23)
By Susan Follis
Susan Follis lives in Lamar, Colorado. She and her husband, Jim, have been married almost 34 years. They have six children and four grandchildren. She loves learning about being a godly wife and mother.