Sometimes you just have to love people anyway – regardless of what they are doing or what they are saying.
What do you do when confronted with a terrible, completely fallible statement from someone that you believe "knows better"? From a mature, knowledgeable, stable "elder" – the kind of person you typically look to in times of confusion. I'm a firm believer in giving those around me the benefit of a doubt as we go about our lives around each other. Not a one of us is perfect, especially me, so why would I expect it from anyone else?
One of my favorite shows is "Dharma and Greg". That might seem strange to you, but I love Dharma's character – yeah, if I met "Dharma" in real life, I would probably think she was really weird. There are so many things about her character that people are drawn toward. In one episode, a greedy real estate lawyer is trying to squeeze her parents into selling their home so he can build a golf course on it. Greg knows the guy and describes him as a "snake" - Dharma disagrees even once she has met him and his wife. They ARE pathetic – a cliché about money, greed and all the trappings of the world. After she meets them for the first time, the first thing she says is "I feel so sorry for them…" – Greg can't believe it and she points out that there is good in them, even if they don't see it.
As I have said before, one of my most favorite accounts in the Bible is when Christ meets the woman at the well. She is low – an unwanted person in her community. Christ sees through all of the muck and garbage tied to her and sees her heart and speaks to her heart and she responds. Here is an ultimate example of how to look at others from our God, a man that walked this earth and felt our pain and looked deep into those around Him.
When I read the account of Jesus' encounter with the woman at the well, it's sensational, it's wonderful and once you know the whole story about who she is and who He is, it all makes sense. I think that it can be easy (…er) to reference that account when I encounter people similar to the woman at the well. We normally have compassion for those of low or (seemingly) no fortune. Our hearts easily break when we see someone that has fallen on hard times and they are not dealing with it well. We want to help them; we may be less inclined to "judge" them harshly because of the extreme nature of the situation.
But what do we do when someone that "knows better" says something really, really irrational?
It's harder to feel compassion, to look past that statement or action and remember all of the good in them. When another Christian says something that just knocks you off your feet or tendency is to attack, to smother the person with reprimand and correction. In some situations, that may be necessary…however, sometimes I think it's just better to move on. Remember all of the great things that person has done in the name of The Lord, how tirelessly that person has worked, how much given – sacrificed.
Sometimes we just have to let it go and just love them anyway…