Many people are blessed well beyond their own will, capability or design. They cannot take the credit. Many also have been ‘cursed’ – via their circumstances. Equally, this is well beyond their own will, capacity to resist or design. These things are just the way they are.
This is not a snobby subject at all. It is not about taking the moral high ground. It is also nothing about judging people.
If anything it’s quite the reverse; possibly it’s about recognising how ‘lucky’ the morally advantaged are... otherwise ‘the blessed’ have nothing to boast about in being born into a good family; the proverbial silver-spooned situation, not financially, but blessed with love.
None of Us Chose Our Upbringings or Our Parents
There are millions of children who’ve never known the love, care, trust and respect many of us take so much for granted.
It is considered a notional fact of observation that much mental illness is created simply by a lack of love. When people are isolated they become mentally unstable.
Our prisons are loaded, razor-wire fence high, with people who’ve never seen or felt God in skin; people who’ve never been loved.
Many of these people are morally unreachable to us, but they’re not unreachable to God. We always have hope when we deal with people who might otherwise be considered vulgar, angry, contemptuous, slanderous, envious, argumentative, greedy and malicious that at any time God could turn their world in on them; for light to break through and for them to know God’s love for the first time. This could be through us and our underpinning tolerance of them as people under all circumstances.
But notwithstanding this, it’s incumbent on us to remember that no one chooses their upbringing. None of us exist or were grown in a vacuum. If we’re blessed with a good degree of moral acumen it’s because of mostly external factors as antecedents—for this we’re very much commended to thank and praise God.
God engineered our blessed upbringings and no one else.
Grace – the Flavour of Understanding
This just all beckons us to consider the person’s background and their circumstances, not judging, but understanding and tolerating in advance.
We would all do so much better in relating with our world—and loving in a true Christlike fashion—if we would choose to see the innate contexts from which people come.
Grace attends, it concedes, it soothes, it endures, and finally, it loves unconditionally.
Grace is unconditional compassion and respect and it’s never found patronising people or insulting their intelligence.
The next time we find ourselves sneering at the more morally dead-beat person (which, of itself, is almost a reprehensible term), we’d do well to reflect on the fact we’ve probably missed the mark of grace to truly and more fully understand life; and what is most unfortunate, we will quickly be labelled “Christian,” a well-worn, contemptuous title for many a non-Christian. It must tear at God’s very soul, the grieving of the Spirit, to see bigotry exist and propagate in the Church.
The world is screaming out for more Christianly behaviour from Christians—this in one word is grace.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.