Over the years I’ve had the opportunity to be around & study the very worst of society’s offenders, and I’ve made a unique discovery. People carry within themselves one of two very powerful forces: Love, and/or hate.
I’ve also witnessed these powerful dynamics change a person’s character. That’s right, a person can harbor hate in their heart so intensely that they become hate-full. Their character morphs into an utterly consumed hate-filled individual. And the same can be said for love.
Love can consume a person’s heart so much that they become love-ers. Love becomes their basic core character.
I’ve met men who were penetrated with hatred, but didn’t intend to be that way. After interviewing them I learned what created the hate for which they had come to be characterized by: Unresolved hurt. Untended Wounds, most often inflicted in their youth by those they trusted, had created the hatred they carried in their hearts. And the sad part was that these men didn’t even know they were walking around deeply wounded. Those around them knew, however… And here’s how:
Imagine if you will, filling a glass all the way to the brim with water. If you were to bump that glass, what would spill out? Water, right? Now fill a glass all the way to the top with tea. Bump that glass and what spills out? Tea, yes. Water can never spill out of a glass filled with tea. Now translate those glasses into human beings.
When you bump into a person filled to the brim with love, what comes out of them? Love, in the form of grace, mercy, forgiveness, and peace. When you bump into a person filled with hate, what spills out? Yes, hate, in the form of verbal abuse, physical abuse, disrespect, and anger.
Think about it: Can a person filled with hatred spill out love? No, its impossible. A person can only give out what is inside of himself. So the next time you bump into someone accidently, observe what spills out of them. If it’s love, you will most likely make a friend as a result of the accident. If hate spills out, however, run like crazy, because that individual is your enemy and cannot give you goodness.
The bible puts it this way: “A tree is known by its fruit. ” A good tree will not bear rotten fruit, and a rotten tree cannot produce good fruit.
I personally believe we need to become better at being fruit inspectors. And don’t confuse fruit inspection with judging others. To judge would be to inspect the fruit, and then make a judgement call on where that fruit will end up. We mustn’t do that. We should however, inspect the fruit around us and make a determination about whether we should get too close to the specified fruit. After all, one rotten apple can spoil the whole bunch.
Don’t judge and condemn… Inspect and protect. We don’t know the final outcome of anyone’s life-story, but we can take measures to prevent them from drastically altering ours.
Inspection is our responsibility. Judgement is God’s. Whatever you do, don’t reverse the two.