Friday, February 3, 2012

One of THOSE People ...

Life has hit us hard lately, and a couple of weeks ago, I heard a particular phrase playing itself in my brain. The first time I heard “I’m not one of THOSE people,” I heard it with a heart that needed some work.

The second time I heard “I’m not one of THOSE people,” my heart had been softened a little, thanks to prayers surrounding me and my family the past two weeks.

A few days ago, I heard “I’m not one of THOSE people” and I stopped. I repeated the phrase to myself, and then I asked, “What exactly does that mean? Who are THOSE people you are trying so hard NOT to be? What’s wrong with THOSE people?”

Conviction set in.

THOSE people – who are they? The hurting, the confused, the saddened, the burdened? The people trying to live life in a way that honors God, but sometimes falling short? The people who work hard despite curveballs thrown at them? The poor, the hungry, the weak, the lonely? Murderers, adulterers, gossips, thieves? The abused? The abuser? The addict? A friend? A stranger? The rich, the strong, the movers and shakers? The parent of a wayward child? The child of a wayward parent? Those who are grief-stricken or ill? Those in jails and prisons? Those in hospitals and mental wards? Those visiting those in prisons, jails, hospitals, or mental wards? Those sitting in courtrooms – on either side of the law? The homeless? The beautiful? The ugly? The healthy? The disabled? The student? The professor? The day-laborer? The executive? The housewife? The career woman? Single parent? Married with children? Divorced? Widowed? Orphaned? Lawful citizen or illegal alien?

ALL of us are THOSE people. It just depends on which shoes we happen to be walking in at that very moment in our lives that tends to make us judge THOSE other people. But you know what? We’re ALL stained with sin of some sort – sins of our own, or sins of someone else’s making – whether we are ready to admit it or not.

Think before you judge. Think before you condemn.

I am one of THOSE people. 

Jesus said He was too.

“ ‘For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’” (Matthew 25:42-45)

James says, “This royal law is found in the Scriptures: ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’ If you obey this law, you are doing right. But if you treat one person as being more important than another, you are sinning. You are guilty of breaking God’s law. ... In everything you say and do, remember that you will be judged by the law that makes people free. So you must show mercy to others, or God will not show mercy to you when he judges you. But the person who shows mercy can stand without fear at the judgment.” (James 2:8-9, 12-13)

Go love one of THOSE people today – even if you have to look in a mirror to do so.


The Holy Bible. 2003. New Century Version. Thomas Nelson Bibles.



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Phee Paradise said...

Thank you for this reminder that THOSE people are hurting and that Jesus died for them, so I should love them.

Joy said...

I'm one of THOSE people too - thanks for this powerful post.

Debbie Roome said...

Very thought provoking. Thank you for sharing it.

Paula Mowery said...

Have you heard the song, Jesus Friend of Sinners by Casting Crowns? The chorus asks for the Lord to "open our eyes to the world at the end of our pointing fingers. Let our hearts be led by mercy. Help us reach with open hearts and open doors. Jesus, friend of sinners, break our hearts for what breaks Yours." As I prepare for a mission trip this summer to Haiti, I've asked God to put on my heart what's on His. Other-minded.
Thanks, Tracy, for being willing to tell it like it is.

WritePathway said...

Awesome, Tracy! No one could read this and not be affected by it. You touched my heart. Thank you.