I used to think that I could identify a good person from a bad one, a good event from a bad one. When I was diagnosed with a brain tumor I was sure it was the worst thing in my life. In hindsight, I think it was one of the better things in my life. When I have met several recent individuals in my life, I was sure that they were bad news. In hindsight, their compassionate acts of kindness and understanding remind me that they are special children of God.
The criteria that separates good from bad is usually only understood in the context of time. Is all pain bad? I am not sure any emotion is of itself good or bad. The important question is what follows. If one takes pain or celebration and turns it into something good, then one has used one’s freedom profitably. If nothing good comes from our experience, we have squandered our freedom.
Each has the ability to make the world a better place.
When someone reaches for more by making a positive difference in their community, I know God is at work. Who am I to judge the rest of their lives? My calling is to support the good in their life and work to help them in their areas of struggle. There is enough pain in our lives without my criticism adding to it! From what I can see, God will sort out the details in their life and mine.
This loops me back to the starting point of my conundrum. If I cannot be sure of my judgment of others, perhaps God is asking me to take a different approach. What if I support any and every positive act? I could be the greatest cheerleader! With each act of compassion, I could say make a simple pronouncement. “The evidence of Christ has been clearly verified in your lives.” (1 Corinthians 1.6)
I have been touched by others encouragement. We need more of it! Today is an opportunity to let the positive touch others and our self.