there is always a reason people act the way they do.

 

“So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, ‘He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.’” John 8:7

There is something I have said many times when faced with people who act out of woundedness and are engaging in destructive behaviors…

”There is always a reason people act the way they do.”

There are many hurts, bondages, and sins we have committed or that were committed against us that shape our behaviors. Not just ours, but those around us. When we can learn to view the world through this lens of seeing others through their woundedness, their actions become more understandable and hopefully our compassion more obtainable.

The question isn’t “What is wrong with you?”. The question then becomes with compassion, “What happened to you?”

It is from this vantage point that we can begin to understand our fellow man and ourselves.

Grace begs that we look on ourselves with compassion as we seek to understand our past and how it impacts us and others, and then move forward in healing as we recognize these shortcomings and seek the Lord to show the way towards health and wholeness.

As we allow the love of Christ to penetrate and heal our deepest wounds, we can then show love to ourselves and then love our neighbors as ourselves. It is grace and love that allows us to look past the flaws of our neighbors, friends, and others. Love isn’t the same as trust. If someone has deeply wounded or violated you, you are called to love, but trust is only built over time and consistent actions that reveal change.

But it is grace that chooses compassion over condemnation.

Jesus demonstrated this in many ways.

He demonstrated it when He said, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first,” when the Pharisees wanted to stone the woman who was caught in adultery.

And at the well with the Samaritan woman when He saw behind the woman’s sins and saw her, and offered her a drink from the Well that never runs dry.

Jesus saw behind the actions and looked at the person. He separated the sin from the person. May we be able to do the same.

May this new year be one of love and compassion as we seek to love ourselves and others with the love of Christ, see the person behind the sin, and do our best to remember there is always a reason people act the way they do.

Dear Heavenly Father, help us to love like you do. Help us to see behind the why into the what behind people’s actions. Give us your eyes and may we look deeply into the wells of ourselves and others, give grace and find compassion for ourselves and those around us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.