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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Loving A Friend No Matter What

I recently saw a friend that I had not seen for years. He had been accused of a crime. The accusation involved a minor and is a horrible accusation.

He has not been convicted, the case is still in court.

However, many people had written him off as guilty and shunned him due to the nature of the accusation.

Another friend of mine wrote to me and asked how she should handle the feelings that she is experiencing about him and to try to help her make some sense out of her thoughts.

She stated that when she sees him, she still tries to be supportive, and will even give him a friendly hug, but now feels torn.......

Here is my response to her, I think it has value in many different aspects of our lives:

We are not meant to hold anger or resentment in our hearts. That doesn't mean that we are oblivious to dangerous situations, like allowing our children to be friends with child molesters, etc. But we should treat all sin as a sin. People are not bad, they sometimes do things that are bad (i.e. sin) but that doesn't make the person a bad person. We must separate the sin from the person.

We are to love the person and hate the sin.

I want to show (**** ) or anyone else that is a close friend of mine that I care for them, will always love them, will always be there for them. I don't support or condone the sin, that is a different situation, and I might even need to separate myself from them if they continue to live a life that is sinful and they have no desire to turn away from that type of life.

So as for any advise, we usually already have the answer in our hearts, we just need to find it. You stated that you usually try to be kind and supportive to (****). I think you answered your own question.

For a long time I would visit people in jail. I started out visiting a group of men and I held Christian services. We would talk about our lives, our mistakes, and then talk about how we could make our lives better. And then one day I was asked to start holding Christian services for a group 20 women.

You would not believe it. Here I was in a small room with 20 young women (18 - 25 year old girls) who had been sentenced to jail. Many of them had done very bad things, left their children, their husbands and were absolutely torn up about it. They were beautiful people that had made such bad choices, but yet they were still people. Many of them would like nothing better to change their past, but that was not an option.

So many of them had a life growing up that was nothing like mine. It was horrible. That is never an excuse for bad behavior, but sometimes it makes things somewhat more difficult.

Why did we turn out OK and others did not. It isn't because of who we are, or our own abilities, it is because God allowed enough grace into our lives, and we accepted his grace to help us.

I don't know about you, but I have made some bad mistakes in my life, thank God nothing like we are talking about with (****), but nonetheless, bad choices.

I do believe that God gave us a free will to make decisions for ourselves, good or bad decisions, he will still use those events to help us grow and others to grow.

Even with this situation with (****), Look we are talking about forgiveness, and compassion. See how he can work........

So to answer your question, pray about it...... It will become clear in your heart and the answer might be much different that you ever expected it to be, if that is so, don't be surprised, it is God talking to you in the quiet of your mind.

The friend wrote me back and stated that she did already know the answer, she just didn't realize that she knew.

Before we judge and condemn people, listen to your hearts, separate the sin from the person, and still love the person....... Situations are never exactly the way the seem, Only God can clearly see the whole picture.

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