This post was inspired by Nancy Pearcey’s new book Love They Body
Answering Hard Questions about life and Sexuality
“To make the Bible’s positive message credible, it must be communicated not only in words but also in behavior by treating everyone with dignity simply because they are made in God’s image.”
I have been known to be overly critical myself, so I am not really judging as much as saying what God says. Everyone deserves dignity. I know that their inner dignity isn’t always easy for us mere humans to see. When we see a homeless person on the street, it is tempting to believe that they got there, by their own bad choices. That might actually be true, but it does not change what God has said to us. They are still human and made in God’s image. We may decide that if we give them money it will be misused, but we have other ways of helping. We can give them food, clothing, time, or even a 5 dollar gift card to a local fast food place. Bottom line is that their bad decisions don’t change God’s word or the worth of his image. Being cruel to them, or ignoring them will not help one iota, in fact, it may drag them further to the road of destruction.
Overweight people are often looked down on, and degraded, and yes often it is their own fault, but often the trials in their life have given them hurdles that were difficult to overcome, and food is the often the only comfort they have. Some have been sexually abused, and they ate too much as a way to comfort themselves, and also to build a wall around them hoping that they will avoid further abuse. Sometimes their grief at the loss of a loved one, or other terrible things participated in their food addiction. Looking down on these people only makes the issue worse, and it doesn’t change God’s nature of love.
Offer to go on a walk with them, be a friend, tell them you are worried about their health but don’t be cruel! It’s not what God wants, and it doesn’t help, in fact, some have been driven to suicide by the lack of compassion that they have been shown.
There are many different groups that people are less than nice too, being mean rarely helps, and it’s not what God wants. There are occasions when being mean is necessary, like when you are forced to protect your family against a home invader for instance, but even then you should do it more because you love the people who are going to get injured or killed if you do not act.
When you judge, do it with love in your heart, not hate or disgust.
Sidenote: This does not negate our obligation to the truth, we still have to tell lost people that they are lost, people who live dangerous lifestyles, that they are in fact living dangerously, but we need to let them retain as much dignity as possible.