Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Respecting Others’ Choices In Life

“Who are you to judge the life I live? I know I’m not perfect—and I don’t live to be—but before you start pointing fingers... make sure your hands are clean.”
—Bob Marley
Read Bob Marley’s quote above, especially as a Christian, and a flurry of thought ensues. Jesus hated how the Pharisee would instinctually point the finger, but then again he points us to the cross—to live the best we can live; the best we can live in following after the will of God as much as possible.
But we will never be perfect; having no aspiration for perfection is a healthy outlook.
But many of us seek things unsustainable and unattainable. Maybe when we do this we transfer our unhappiness, in striving for perfection, onto others who are perfectly happy (as much as they can be) in their imperfection.
Who Defines How Life Is to Be Lived?
Apart from the Gospel and other things we might take in that could help, God has issued us with free will; to determine the life we will lead.
And although we will be held to perfect account regarding how we lived our lives, we alone have the glorious honour to discharge our lives as we see fit. (This is one reason for the Holy Spirit—to guide us to better outcomes where we would otherwise more often fail.)
Recently I listened to talkback where parentless couples found themselves, in social situations, forced to defend the decision not to have children. It appears society has expectations of couples. There are many such expectations that remove a person’s dignity to the choice God has given them.
Isn’t it funny, in a less humorous way, but what God gives, we judge?
God gives the light of life and human beings dim that light through their filthy filters for how life should be lived. And little do they know where these judgments come from. If they knew they wouldn’t cling to them. When we have certain societal expectations, as we stereotype people, there is a direct reflection regarding how we think in life, and even as we think about ourselves.
Expectations on others reveal the expectations we have of ourselves that we can’t live up to.
Yet, the strongest temptation is for the Christian to judge; we seem to ‘own’ the moral high ground, after all. Well, that is what most people think. The truth couldn’t be further from the truth. We know, through what Jesus did on the cross, that we are in the moral low ground—and our sinfulness should simply remind us of the challenges we all face and our need of God. Life is not easy for anyone.
It is a blessing to others, and it pleases God, when we reject the temptation to stereotype people into boxes; to limit people through our judgments regarding how they live their lives.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.

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