“If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?” (I John 4:20 NKJV)
Loving without judgment is a choice and an action demonstrated by Jesus. He loved by His words and by His actions people who had been deemed unlovable and even detestable by the community. He loved the woman at the well, the ten lepers, a crazed man living in caves, a corrupt government official, and a doubting religious leader, among others.
Loving without judgment is hard to do. The first time I went inside a Florida Department of Corrections facility my first emotion was not love. As I sat across the table and looked into the face of an inmate I felt fear. I felt like the walls were closing in on me and I might not ever get out of that place. I wondered what the woman had done to deserve being locked up and deprived of freedom.
I have been to prison many times since then with Children of Inmates (COI). But that was the moment I had to decide if I was willing to try doing what Jesus willingly did. Jesus looked through people’s exterior, through their reputation, through their current situation, and into their basic humanity. He loved them just because they were human.
Who are you willing to love without judgment today?
“May your choices reflect your hopes and not your fears.” ~ Nelson Mandela