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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Believing In Other People


When I’m at my best spiritually it seems a mandatory thing to me to believe in others—to honour their story—to accept their pain—to tolerate their offences.
I understand everyone has their struggles.
Every person has their snare; that fatal flaw that puts people off-side.
Ours is to take their side so that we are not lost to dissonance, indifference, hate or resentment because of them or their behaviour. This doesn’t mean we represent injustice, but it does mean we have room in our hearts for compassion where the rest of the world would despise them.
We hold two balls in the air simultaneously: the appropriate justice, especially where victims are involved, and so being their ally and advocate, but also we have tolerance for the perpetrator.
Being a Friend to the Friendless
Most of us would not like to admit that there are friendless people, who struggle enormously to be accepted. We know who these are; everyone knows one or two. Our role, as Christians, is to play for advocacy to the outlier, the marginalised, the socially vanquished; to be their friend, genuinely.
These are all most important times; each interaction we have.
I have to believe in others or I begin to doubt them in a bout of cynicism, and then I’m on the slippery slope away from God. My Lord wants me to hold onto my faith in people, such that I am beyond hurting them (even if these are the types who hurt me or those I love).
This is God’s ideal—that the Spirit’s harmony endures forever, because it does.
When I or we believe in the sanctity of the God-created soul—notwithstanding the sinful nature—we see people more as God sees them. Sure, human beings are capable of awful atrocities, but just as much, when they are loved, do they respond (and even initiate) by loving acts that are approved by God.
Even though we may be taken by some as fools, to believe in someone rotten, we have decided that judgment is a role for God alone. Who are we, really, to not believe in another person, who we cannot know as God knows them?
***
When we believe in another person, and in other people, our faith is buoyed by virtuous insight. The more we believe in others, the more God shows us his love as it operates in their lives. The more open our hearts are in receiving others gracefully, the more others receive us gracefully. And the more grace is known, the more love is shown—these are acts of involuntary care and mutual respect that go beyond verbal communication to communicate love via action.
Most of all, when we believe in other people we appreciate more how much God believes in us, and our faith in all things good is fortified.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.

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