Remember when you were young and your mom would say to you, “Sweetie, if you don’t have anything nice to say then don’t say anything at all”? While it was probably an aggravation to hear at the time, I’ve got to say she was on to something. I think we, as Christians need to be reminded of this saying especially with the rapid decline of our society. When we are constantly reading and hearing about atrocities it can be hard not to want to spew negativity and hatred towards the person who has committed such an act.
The most recent example would probably be the man, Justin Ross Harris, who left his 22 month old son in the car on purpose while he went to work. I don’t watch much news so I stumbled upon the story on a Facebook page of a talk show host and reading the comments made me so sad. So many people and some who probably proclaim to be Christians, just spewing absolutely hateful comments like, “I hope he burns in Hell” or “He should die in a hot locked up car so he can suffer just like he made his son suffer.” It is certainly understandable to be outraged and to mourn the loss of such a precious and young life, but if we are believers we need to evaluate this anger and know if it is a righteous anger or not.
Even in evaluating this it is important to remember that God is the ultimate judge, not us. James 4:12 says, “There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?” Rather, while we are here on earth our charge from God is not to spread condemnation and judgment but the word of the Lord and His love. God’s great commandment, Matthew 22:37-40 says, “And he said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” In the great commission, Matthew 28:18-20, Jesus says, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
It really hurts our testimony as Christians when we preach love but then spew hate at the people who probably need to be shown Christ’s love the most. In the pulpit on Sunday we hear things like, “None is worthy, no not one to enter Heavens gates. But our God, being the good and gracious God that He is, sent His only son to make for us a way when there was no way.” I can’t speak for others, but when I hear this truth it reminds me that I am a sinner, just like Justin Ross Harris, and without God’s love and mercy I deserve the same wrath and judgment that Justin does, so who am I to condemn him to hell with my words?!? When dealing with the fate of the adulterous woman, in John 8, Jesus says in verse 7, ” Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw the stone at her.” 1 John 1:8 says, “If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”
In closing I just want to clarify that this is just one example that I felt compelled to share on because there have been multiple cases similar to Justin Ross Harris and the criticism and outrage that was shown in response. There are so many other issues, problems, and subjects that people become outraged over, some that are probably more prevalent in our day to day lives.