I was raised to live with an attitude of unconditional love. To look at the world with acceptance. To treat people the way I want to be treated, with grace and compassion. To withhold judgment until I knew all the circumstances.
It’s a bit sobering to realize that I am now modeling these values for the very people who instilled them in me, because society has reached their limits of tolerance and compassion. It's troublesome to look around at my fellow believers and followers of Christ and to see harsh judgment instead of sympathy and empathy.
Is there a certain age at which we are no longer flexible enough in our minds and hearts to embrace those whose experiences are so very different from our own?
Is there a moment at which we no longer interpret the commandment to love one another as Jesus Christ loves us to mean that we try to understand a differing point of view rather than flatly labeling it as sin and anathema?
Why are we so quick to judge, when we are commanded not to do so?
Why are we so quick to disapprove of someone else's attempt to live life as authentically as they can, and so quick to assume that that person is somehow not worthy of our respect because they are struggling in a way we cannot understand?
Why do we feel that we have the authority to dismiss another person as unworthy of unconditional love? Why do we feel justified in disgust, anger, and hatred?