Every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future. Oscar Wilde
There is a natural tendency of most of us to form opinions about people and come to some conclusions. We are rudely shocked or pleasantly surprised when contrary to our assumptions there are exactly opposite views expressed by others about the same person. It isn’t that we are completely wrong or the other completely right but the reality is that each one of us has shades of Jekyll and Hyde in us and we tend to display one of the two personalities more dominantly.
What we can observe in ourselves is the mood swings, change in behavior and the alternating negative and positive energies that seem to constantly shadow us. This does not make us either good or bad people but is merely indicative of the constantly changing personal display of emotions and characteristics. When we are tempted to take a holier than thou attitude we may be rudely awakened to the reality that we have had a none to enviable past. On the other hand when we are prone to wallow in self pity and desperation it is a timely reminder to seek help for every weakling has hope of salvation.
Since we are certain that there is no such concept of a perfect person in this universe, logically each one of us falls in the continuum between good and bad. Depending on the day and time we plot ourselves on that continuum we could go into either extremes but the saving grace is that there is hope for sinners and the apparently virtuous can be more tempered in their ego massaging. In effect we realize that being good or bad does not make us exceptional or despicable for there is a past that can be a burden to carry and a future that absolve us and reward us for our repentance. This gives us both hope on one hand and a word of caution on the other hand that enables us to see ourselves as balance individuals.
We therefore come to a conclusion that we cannot really form opinions unless we have closely interacted with the person and more interestingly that the conclusions we draw are limited to the time we spend with them. We also need to realize that our opinions of people should not be so rigid that we alienate people because we are not willing to study the facts or acknowledge our mistakes at a later stage. The bigger lesson though is for us as individuals to be aware that we have our own limitations and strengths and that what was strength at a point in time could vanish and we could end up as victims. Similarly for those innocent who stand as accused in the docks of human morality there is hope that redemption is possible if one is determined to work for it and seek repentance.
Remember: Tomorrow is another day.
- Jot down 3 positive changes that you have noticed in you that have come over since the last 5-10 years. Also list out 3 bad traits that you have adopted that you never accused of before.
- If possible read the book The Cross and the Switchblade a book written in 1963 by pastor David Wilkerson with John and Elizabeth Sherrill. It tells the true story of Wilkerson’s first five years in New York City, where he ministered to disillusioned youth, encouraging them to turn away from the drugs and gang violence they were involved with.
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