When I was growing up, I used to watch my dad read the paper in the morning while he ate breakfast. This was a good thing to do because it’s important to know what is going on in the world. Not just your world, but other people’s world as well. Now, many years later, I carry on this tradition. The only difference is that instead of large inky sheets of paper, I use my computer. And facebook. Every morning I scroll facebook to see what is going on in the world of other people. Don’t judge, some of you do it too.
It was this scrolling that led me to realize that today is the anniversary of Prince’s death. That is a sad thing. It is always sad when a great artist passes. The way I found out about this sad anniversary, however made me more mad than sad.
A local… person (I was going to say “christian” but I am a little ticked right now and don’t want to be associated with this person. I may go back and edit it later, we’ll see.) was debating whether or not Prince “made it into heaven”.
He argued that on the positive side, Prince did a lot of charity work. On the negative side, Prince swore right in his songs and, was in fact, sexy. He went on to say that this was probably a tough choice for God. He said that we should be very careful not to make this decision difficult for God and make sure every choice we make reflects Jesus appropriately.
I was a little angry.
Why was I angry?
I was angry because the depth of Prince’s relationship with God, and the details of it are none of my, or this “person”‘s business. This person was not so much worried that Prince’s life reflected God as he was worried that Prince’s relationship with God might not be identical to his relationship with God. And if the two relationships were not identical, one must be right and one must be wrong, right?
I have five children. I promise you that none of the relationships between my children and I look the same. If my children were to compare relationships they might say things like “Mom doesn’t love you as much as she loves me because you don’t braid each other’s hair.” or “Obviously you don’t have a relationship with mom because you tell gross jokes back and forth.” or maybe “How can you love mom when you don’t even like tacos?!” (yes, I have a child who doesn’t like tacos. I promise we are having her tested.)
My children don’t make these comparisons (at least not often) because they know that I love them each for the unique individual that they are. If they were all exactly the same and each had exactly the same relationship with me it would be weird. I probably wouldn’t enjoy the relationships because they wouldn’t be authentic. My children would be all stressed out because who wants to have a fake relationship with someone based on being something you aren’t?
My point is, not only can we not judge the relationship someone else has with God based on what our own relationship with Him looks like, but we should not be judging someone else’s relationship with God, period.
We were not put here to judge. We were put here for relationships. We were also put here to mind our own business.
When you see someone in need, your business is to help them the best that you can, not judge whether or not they are actually in need or what they might do with the money you give them.
When you see someone who is sick, your business is to comfort and heal them, not judge what “sin” they committed to make them “unclean”.
When you see someone who is sad, your job is to walk through it with them and offer support and comfort; not to decide if the way they are thinking is wrong and not focused on God enough.
Are you sensing a pattern here? Your job is never to decide if someone is worthy of love. I promise you they are. They are worthy of God’s love, which means they are more than worthy enough of your love. Everyone. That means ALL of the people. Yes, even that one.
Now my little rant is done.
I will now go turn on some Prince music, finish reading the entire internet, and think about how awesome the music is going to be in heaven, because I’m pretty sure Prince will be putting on a concert. And if you don’t think God likes a little funk in His music now and then, I would challenge you to expand your mind.
Photo credit: Prince playing at Coachella 2008. Image-Public Domain