My time has been stretched thin for the past two weeks, so I’m a bit behind on the news.
I’m not so behind, however, that I missed the tragic news that Matthew Warren, the 27-year old son of Pastor Rick Warren, took his own life. Rick Warren is Pastor of the Saddleback Church and author of the prodigious bestseller The Purpose Driven Life.
My heart goes out to Pastor Warren and his family. Enduring the death of a loved one is never easy regardless of the circumstances. Unfortunately, the pain brought on by an occurrence like this is exacerbated when you live your life in the proverbial fishbowl – first cousin to a glass house.
I’m too weary to be angered by the onslaught that Pastor Warren is receiving from people I’ll simply call “The Judgmental.” They sit on both sides of the aisle; Christian and non-Christian, yet their message is the same. In some ways, the criticisms Pastor Warren is receiving reminds me of similar words hurled at Jesus when He was on the cross – pretty much the most crucial time in His life:
“He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! He’s the king of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him.” Matthew 27:42, NIV
Is the loss of a son through the heart-piercing means of suicide something else that we judge people about?
Blogger Jenny Bolt Price had this to say on her Facebook page:
“Why would anyone kill themselves?”
“Why would she have an abortion?”
“__________ is just sick! I don’t know how you could do/be that!”
“Drug addicts want to be stuck. They want to be hooked on drugs so they don’t have to grow up.”
Have you heard “well meaning” people say these things? Or statements like this?
Sin is sin. I won’t deny that. Not at all. Wrong is wrong. What God says stands.
And Grace is Grace.
It too is undeniable.
Think about what you say, and who might be around you as you say it.
They will know we are Christians by our LOVE – not our judgment.
(this comes in the wake of many strong voices saying awful things to/about Rick Warren and family in the loss of their son to suicide)
I’ve been the victim of horrific judgment and even slander, so I know what it feels like to receive blame instead of a blessing, criticism instead of caring, and loathing instead of love.
My love and prayers are not only with Pastor Warren, but with anyone else who bears the brunt of someone else’s judgment, unkind words, and uncharitable attitude.
What Would Jesus Do? Well, examine your own actions and thoughts. Would His mirror yours?
Join in the Fray: What’s your first, true response when you hear of a tragedy?
Copyright © 2013 Michelle Matthews Calloway, ASwirlGirl™, The Swirl World™, All rights reserved.