October 6, 2012
As soon as the words left my mouth, I knew I had made a terrible mistake.
To the horror of the cricket, little feet rushed over. A thorough inspection and corresponding oohs and ahhs were in immediate order. The jumping bug was then assaulted by not one, not two, but seven preschoolers. Unfortunately, there was no merciful stomping upon said cricket. Instead, the creature was given a chance to try swimming in the nearest puddle of rain water, smothered between "sharing" exchanges, and given a "house" that consisted of fourteen hands worth of soggy mulch.
The last I saw of the poor cricket, it was missing a leg and scrambling for the nearest escape.
Of course, if I had chosen not to say anything, the cricket could have continued on his merry way without ever having been literally torn to shreds.
How true the same idea rings for the Christian. We are so quick to draw attention to others. To point a finger at the wrongs of the unbeliever, or worse, at the flaws of a brother or sister in Christ. A casual mention of sin in another brings against them swift and heavy condemnation by anyone who will side with us. The gossip chain of a "did you hear about so-and-so" spreads until the wounded soul goes limping away out of sight.
Yet somehow, instead of feeling remorseful over a distinct lack of love, we feel justified. In the darkest part of ourselves we find a sense of satisfaction in seeing a person who has chosen sin brought to their just dues.
After all, that cricket was nothing more than a filthy pest. A bug who should have been stomped into the dust before it turned into a bigger problem.
I am guilty too. Not only of subjecting a cricket to the unknown cruelties of preschoolers, but for condemning someone in the wrong without extending a solution. Like many, I have pointed out flaws in others before examining my own hidden issues.
After all, my friends, we are but lowly crickets too. Filthy and undeserving of the promise of life. Yet our Saviour looked beyond that fault and saw our need. His salvation brings life renewed and in that life, the potential for righteousness, holiness, and...a love for other sinners.Without first recognizing our own desperate need for His forgiveness and restoring love, we cannot look at others with an honest point of view.
More than anything, our mouths must be guarded. What we say regarding others, and who we say it to for that matter, must be matters of careful consideration. Remember that we are to love others simply because Jesus Christ loves us. Instead of criticizing - intercede, instead of gossip - extend grace, and instead of scorn - offer the blessed news of forgiveness. Friends, keep being molded into something more like Him!
(Oh, and the praying mantis who was discovered by the same preschool class the very next day...may it rest in peace.)
"If I belittle those whom I am called to serve, talk of their weak points in contrast perhaps with what I think of as my strong points; if I adopt a superior attitude, forgetting "Who made thee to differ? And what hast thou that thou hast not received?" then I know nothing of Calvary love." - Amy Carmichael