When you screw up (and you will screw up), there will be people who line up to point fingers at your assigned “Scarlet Letter.” In their eyes, your divorce, your job loss, your lie…they define you. They can’t see past it.
Those people exist and always will. And you know what? That’s their choice and their right. Your job isn’t to change the way they view you.
But I do think your job is to make sure you find and surround yourself with people who love you with God’s kind of love.
What does that look like? You don’t have to look any further than the person of Jesus. He gave us example after example of what this God kind of love would, could, and should look like.
Jesus didn’t see Peter who didn’t have enough faith to stay above the waves; but as Peter who had the courage to get out of the boat in the first place.
Jesus didn’t see a home-wrecking promiscuous woman caught in adultery; but a beautiful soul that just needed grace that would lead to transformation, instead of condemnation which leads to shame.
When Jesus looked at Zacchaeus he didn’t see a greedy, money grabbing, self centered, dishonest tool of an oppressive Roman government. He was a human being who had a heart of generosity that just needed to be reminded who he really was.
Jesus wasn’t the friend running around pointing fingers and reminding people of what they had done or talking behind people’s backs about his disapproval. In fact, he was quite the opposite.
Jesus was the friend who reminded people of who they really were. He was reminding them of what was most true about their humanity. He was casting vision for a better life that would come, not by “holding them accountable” but by “holding them close.” Holding them close and reminding them:
- You are not your mistake.
- Your sin doesn’t make you second class.
- It doesn’t define you and it’s not what’s most true about you.
Do you have a friend like that? If not, find one. And if so, don’t let go of them.