Let’s begin with a quote from one of the finest poets in American history…
You’ve never walked in that man’s shoes
or saw things through his eyes,
Or stood and watched with helpless hands
while the heart inside you dies.
Some were paupers, some were kings, some were masters of the arts,
But in their shame they’re all the same, these men with broken hearts.
Life sometimes can be so cruel that a heart will pray for death.
God why must these living dead know pain with every breath?
So help your brother along the road, no matter where he starts!
For the God that made you, made them too. These men with broken hearts!
-Hank Williams Sr.
I find that it’s very easy to backbite or gossip about someone. It’s very easy to vent your frustrations about a person when they are out of ear shot. We all do things that annoy other people, but rarely do we have the courage to say something to each other’s faces. Instead we talk about other people and criticize and mock and slander other people to other people.
If you struggle with this, I may have a solution:
Instead of attacking a person for something they did, first stop and ask yourself “WHY” they did it. I’m not talking about justifying their misdeed or excusing their wrong; I’m talking about explaining them; understanding them. What is the person’s situation? What’s their home life like? How did they grow up? Were they given too little affection as a child? Maybe they were given too much! Were they bullied in school? Were they constantly criticized? Were they little miss perfect, or a little angel boy?
There’s a lot of reasons why a person’s personality may be what it is, and why they may be inclined to do something. Apart from their upbringing, they may just be young or inexperienced or a new Christian. They may be old and set in their ways from an era that is long since past.
The point is, the moment we start asking ourselves “why is this person doing that…” we immediately shift our focus away from going on the offensive. Instead we become men of mercy. We develop compassion and pity. That’s a Christian quality. When we do that, it becomes a lot harder to just blindly insult someone.
Think about it!