I wonder how our actions are measured. Is the suffering that we cause measured by the person who suffers or by the scale we would use if we were the one’s suffering?
There is a woman who’s husband cheated on her and married his mistress. He shirked responsibility and promises. He damaged his integrity in the name of love. The woman was left to answer the questions of their child and fill gaps in the home her strayed husband abandoned.
The sequence of events that followed left the child and father estranged from each other. This was not the adulterous father’s choice, nor was it the choice of the child.
If the adulterous man can put himself in the position of the wife he degraded, and he, himself become degraded, how would that affect all of his choices? Would he demand that she get over her hurt in a more timely manner and reconcile herself to him as friends? Is that because he could get over that level of pain in a timely manner?
How long would it take him to forgive? Can you put a time limit on pain? If he actually reversed the roles and understood the depth of pain he caused, he would completely submit himself to her and let her lead the way to healing…when she was ready.
Is he measured, by God, according to how it would have affected him to be cheated on or the way it actually affected her?
If the wife could put herself in his position, and she was the one who had an affair, how would that affect all of her choices? Would she keep her child from the father because he obviously doesn’t want her? Is that because she wouldn’t want her?
Hurt people hurt people, but do people, who hurt people, hurt?
How long would it take her to forgive herself? Would the grace of others help? If she actually reversed the roles and understood the depth of remorse he knew, she would do whatever she could to help clean up the mess and keep the healthy relationship between the father and child intact.
Is she measured, by God, by the way it would have affected her to lose her child or the way it actually affects the child’s father?
Are we measured by our own tools? I believe we are:
‘For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.‘ – Jesus, Matthew 7:2
So, how do we make the right decision? We’re supposed to put ourselves in the other person’s position and act accordingly. Not based on the way you think he feels, but on the way you would feel.
“Here is a simple, rule-of-thumb guide for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you, then grab the initiative and do it for them. Add up God’s Law and Prophets and this is what you get.’ – Jesus, Matthew 7:12
And, no, there is not a ‘I wouldn’t have done that‘ clause. There is no loophole in the Law of Love.
‘The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” – Galatians 5:14
If you’ve reached the end of your submission on this fundamental truth, that is where your line is. That is where you will hang on to your ‘self’ and not ‘die’ to it for the sake of the bigger picture. If you do not operate in ‘ role-reversal’ then you do not have a clue what Jesus stood for. He was the ultimate role-reversal.
Only Satan dehumanizes people, Jesus becomes them. Especially pertaining to sinners. Watch who you’re learning from.
‘Live creatively, friends. If someone falls into sin, forgivingly restore him, saving your critical comments for yourself. You might be needing forgiveness before the day’s out. Stoop down and reach out to those who are oppressed. Share their burdens, and so complete Christ’s law. If you think you are too good for that, you are badly deceived.’ – Galatians 6:1