Or maybe you hear about somebody that you only know in passing being accused of child abuse, but you don't know what happened and you immediately think badly of them?
How often do you automatically think badly of somebody just because of something you heard or saw that was out of context of their life?
A dear person that I know is going through trials like this. She was accused of child abuse and it is involved in the courts and it is a big mess. What she is facing is people that have heard about her being charged but have no clue what in actuality happened. In fact, many have no clue that they themselves can be charged with abuse too. It doesn't stop them from talking negatively about her and her family though. Which in turn means that they are sinning.
"Do not judge others, and God will not judge you; do not condemn others, and God will not condemn you; forgive others, and God will forgive you. Give to others, and God will give to you. Indeed, you will receive a full measure, a generous helping, poured into your hands---all that you can hold. The measure you use for others is the one that God will use for you."
(Luke 6:37-38 GNB)
Sisters and brothers, I urge you. When you see somebody being accused or judged, show mercy. There is a difference in somebody who made one mistake and shows remorse versus somebody who repeats the mistake over and over. That parent with their crying child at the store may not have somebody to watch their kids. Or the child may be sick or be troubled. The child could have a sensory issue. Or, the parent told the child no and the child is throwing a tantrum.
In the even of a parent being accused of child abuse, I am sure there are those that are accused and are outright guilty. But be aware, in many states corporal punishment is illegal. In the state of Tennessee if you leave a mark on a child's bottom you have committed abuse. If you used a paddle or wooden spoon or anything else it is aggravated abuse.
The problem is that with laws like that there is no room for error. Many parents that do believe in spanking have made the mistake of leaving a bruise on the child's bottom. They only do it once. In my opinion that is not abuse, it's a mistake. But that is also not the point of this article. Even if the person is guilty, they need to know God. They need to see God's love.
More so, in this case the mother spanked her child too hard and acknowledges that she did just that and is remorseful for it. Her fellow brothers and sisters in Christ should be praying for her and her family, not giving the cold shoulder and icy stares, talking about her to other people.
Gossip is spread by wicked people; they stir up trouble and break up friendships.
(Proverbs 16:28 GNB)
I challenge you. Look around in your community or church. I promise you will find at least one person that others have shunned or cast out. Befriend that person. Show them God's love. Even if they already know God, having somebody there for them that does not condemn them but loves them with Christian love will be the greatest blessing they can receive.
Let me know how it goes. Can you change a person's life but not judging them but by showing them God's love? I don't mean by proclaiming that they are innocent, I mean by accepting that yes, bad things happened, but Christ still loves them.