by Thomas A. Stobie, S.F.O.
My view of others has changed when I begun to perceive everyone as a child of God. I am now more patient, more loving, more accepting, more understanding, less judgmental, and gentler in my actions with others.
Perceiving people as children of God, I have come to recognize that:
God created all people in His image. Therefore, all people are inherently good and worthy of my love and respect.
God loves each person so much that Jesus died for each person individually on the cross. Anyone that God loves that much, I should also love.
Their journey to heaven is still on-going. They still are growing in their knowledge and love of God and may grow closer to God in the future.
Their knowledge and understanding of God is limited. As God is infinite, no man can totally know and understand God. No man can be expected to be perfect. I must accept that everyone will make mistakes, knowingly and unknowingly, and not attempt to judge them in my limited knowledge of the situation.
They are my brothers and sisters in God's family, regardless of how they act. In the covenant bond, established at Baptism, we are all God's children and as such we have a responsibility to love our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Given this, I look at all people as if they were children in this world, prone to error and sometimes even cruelness, but acting out of ignorance of God. If they truly knew God, they would try to have every thought and action of theirs glorify God. Just as you forgive with love a two year old who spills his drink all over you, we can forgive those ignorant of God (which includes everyone in some degree), for the cruelness and errors that they commit and leave all thoughts of judgment for God.
Meditation by Thomas A. Stobie, SFO © 1994. Permission granted to copy for personal use.
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Last Modified 6 Nov 2008.