It’s so easy to become critical. So easy to take one action of someone else and categorize them as a certain type of person, or assume they will be a certain way.
One way Christians combat this attitude towards others is to not judge. “Just try not to be judgmental,” we tell others…and ourselves. We all tend to be critical of others. “They just need to smarten up and get a job, then they would get somewhere in life,” or “If they would just be nicer, maybe they’d have more friends.” On the one hand, it’s one thing to stop ourselves from assuming the worst. It can be as simple as believing the best of people or reminding ourselves that we don’t know what kind of day they’re having.
But here’s what I’ve really struggled with. How do I stop being critical of someone else, when I know that they are wrong? How do I change my attitude when I know that they actually do have some things to deal with in their life?
It completely bothers me when someone clearly has some character flaws, and people just out-and-out ignore it. They say, “It’s okay, they had a hard childhood” or “I’m sure there’s a reason they’re that way”—I’m sure there’s a reason for the behaviour, but that doesn’t make it okay.
Here’s the thing—it doesn’t matter what’s in someone’s past; they have to allow God to work through their lives. We all have junk. But Jesus is bigger than our junk, and He is 100% capable of making us into new creatures.We all have things in our past. But Jesus has set us free, and we have a bright future. Click To Tweet
All that being said…how am I supposed to look at a person, know their flaws and be completely honest about it, yet still not be critical? How do I look beyond the flaw and see Jesus? How do I see that person as a child of God?
The truth is, we can’t. We can’t see that person as God sees them, because we’re human. We’re flawed too. We are sinful, so we get stuck on other people’s sinfulness.
So how do we love the unlovable?
RECOGNIZE YOUR OWN FLAWS.
We need to recognize that we are also flawed. We have stuff to deal with, too. We need to be humble and treat others as greater than ourselves. Just like Jesus brought Himself low for us, we need to ask God to bring us low so that we can love others.
ASK GOD TO LOVE THEM FOR YOU.
We also need to ask God to love that person through us. It is totally okay to go to God and say, “Lord, I just can’t love this person. I’m incapable of it. But you love them more than I’ll ever know. Love them through me, and use me to show Your love to them.”
We aren’t perfect. God doesn’t expect us to love every person just as He does. We can’t. We literally are not capable of loving everyone by God’s standards. But when we ask God to love someone through us, He shows up.
Today, I want to challenge you. Pick someone in your life who is unlovable, and ask God to love them through you. Watch the difference it makes! When we love others, we are a true image of Christ.