Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. (Matthew 5:4)
Each day marks the beginning of a new challenge to exercise patience towards callous people. I’m astonished at the indifference I see among some who claim to be Christians. It’s as though they’re oblivious to the fact that people have feelings. When they ought to encourage those who are struggling in the church, they create more burdens for them instead, trying to make them feel guilty for being human. Are believers expected to hide their feelings under a mask? Are we supposed to be a body without emotions?
We’re called to be heralds of the truth, but that doesn’t mean we have the right to condescend those who may have a smaller slice of the truth than we do. Christ commanded us to be lights, not lightning bolts. If we see someone hurting in the church, it’s not our work to criticize them, but to comfort them, and to edify them, and to build them up in Christ. God wants us to be happy, no doubt; but that doesn’t mean He expects us to be apathetic to the woes of the world. It’s not a sin to weep at the sight of injustice, but an act of love. Do your part to show others that you care about what’s happening in their lives. Love.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m not condoning negativity. There’s a place to put our cares. Jesus said, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am meek and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30). Notice how Jesus’ words emphasize empathy, not condemnation. Granted, there’s a time to speak out against sin. But those who use Jesus’ words to tear others down misrepresent Him. Just as Jesus desires to give us rest, we should want the same for each other. Will that happen by pointing a finger of condemnation in a person’s face? No. Love awakens our need for Christ, and draws us into the presence of God.
Perhaps you’ve encountered people in the church who were more interested in judging you than helping you through your struggles, leaving you with the impression that you don’t belong. God doesn’t see you that way. In fact, He knows your life better than you do, and is planning to prosper you according to His good pleasure. Of course, that doesn’t mean He’s going to make you rich and prosperous in a worldly way. What it means is that He desires enrich you spiritually, so that your life may become a testimony of His joy. But that won’t happen unless you place your trust in Him.
Jesus is willing to wipe the tears from your eyes. But are you willing to cast your cares on Him? He will give you rest, but you must go to Him in order to receive it.