Loving God…loving others.
But tonight I saw a post on facebook that about made me want to lose my cool. I usually don’t get worked up by many posts, but this one really upset me.
Evidently one or more local newscasts did a story about one of the state prisons not having air conditioning and how it was 90 degrees inside the prison today. This person on facebook insinuated that since the people in prison will be going to hell, they might as well get used to the heat.
That made my heart hurt.
Then all the comments that followed continued on that thread of thought, indicating that “those people” deserve such treatment and “that’s what they get for being in prison.”
The fact is…God loves a prisoner just as much as He loves me. God loves the person who wrote that post just as much as He loves someone in prison.
I’ve met plenty of people who have landed in prison due to personal choices . Oftentimes, what happens inside those prison walls softens a person’s heart and they either find the One who has loved them since forming them in his/her mother’s womb or recommit their life to Him. They come out a different and changed person than when they went in. Today alone, I had conversations with three such people.
Who are we to judge anyone? That’s God’s job, not mine or anyone else’s. Who are we to condemn another? That’s not our place either.
If we call ourselves a Christian, we are considering ourselves a “Christ-one.” What message are we sending to the world when we refuse to forgive, when we refuse to give someone a second chance, and when we judge someone without even knowing them, just because of wrong choices they may have made? What kind of witness is that?
May I remember this post for a very long time to remind myself never to judge anyone. People in prison are someone’s son, daughter, brother, sister, mom, dad, friend. I pray for those in prison. May God meet them right in their cell. Others may not agree with me, and that’s okay. But we should remember Jesus’ words about this…
Then I will turn to those on my left and say, ‘Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons. For I was hungry and you wouldn’t feed me; thirsty, and you wouldn’t give me anything to drink; a stranger, and you refused me hospitality; naked, and you wouldn’t clothe me; sick, and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.’
“Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?’
“And I will answer, ‘When you refused to help the least of these my brothers, you were refusing help to me.’” Matthew 25:41-45