We can be hard on each other. One thing to remember is that we are not God, but we need to do our best to act like him. That can be a tough stack to balance. God is powerful, he is just, and he is right, but he isn’t brutal. When he sees his followers mess up, he doesn’t snap a ruler across their fingers. He talks to them. He gives them gentle reminders. He puts a peaceful spirit in their hearts, and he teaches them how to help themselves through self control. “Take my (Jesus) yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:29-30).
Jesus has a heart for the broken. He came to give himself to any man or woman who chooses to believe his words. He knew that without him, we would all be lost. We would have no idea what it means to live a whole life. We wouldn’t know what true life is, because we wouldn’t know the creator who gave us life.
“‘The Lord is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion’” (Numbers 14:18), so we should be slow to anger as well. Whatever the task is, we should always do our best to keep cool.
We don’t know what another person is going through. “For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him?” (1 Corinthians 2:11). We don’t understand the way other people think, but God does. So, to be like God, we must be willing to put our judgments in the hands of the Almighty. We must offer them up in prayer, and then God will move from there. “The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man’s judgments: “For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?”” (1 Corinthians 2: 15).
For those of us who may be going through a tough time, for those of us who need healing, and for those of us who need generosity, we need to keep loving others the way Jesus loves them. Jesus laid down his life for his friends. We have opinions and we have judgments, but Jesus came to save, not to condemn. He came to send the Counselor—the Holy Spirit—not the prison guard.
To know true life, we need to know God, because God is true life. And God has always had a heart for the broken, the poor, and the oppressed.
Jesus returned to Gailee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. He taught in their synagogues, and everyone praised him.
He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read. The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to release the oppressed,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (Luke 4:14-19).