It is no coincidence our very first church member was also one of our most faithful. Ralph Kowalski served our church as a janitor for many years. Day after day he would do his job, cleaning everything from toilet bowls to classrooms. Ralph was also a great soul-winner. He loved telling others how to go to Heaven even more than he liked working at the church.
But Ralph was not without his faults (and neither are we). He had been born with a genetic defect which caused his body to be covered in bumps. Sometimes he shook from seizures, and he would uncontrollably spit. People learned to stay out of spitting range of Ralph in church. There were also occasions when Ralph called my dad late at night because he wanted him to talk with someone he had nearly won to Christ.
For all of the physical problems Ralph had and for all of the inconvenience he caused, we still dearly loved him because he was faithful. That is why it broke my father’s heart when he heard Ralph had died from a heart attack. He knew Ralph would have a huge mansion waiting for him in Heaven because of his faithfulness to Christ. In the end, that was all that mattered.
Everyone has faults. The faults of some may be more noticeable than those of others. Some of us may do a better job of hiding our flaws than others, but they are there nonetheless. When we judge people, especially other believers, it should not be on account of their shortcomings, but because of their faithfulness.
Have you been looking down on others because of their shortcomings? Maybe someone at church dresses in shabby clothes, a student in your class is slower than others his/her age, or a friend makes a foolish mistake. Don’t let your judgment rest entirely upon the external appearance. Look deeper into the heart. Is this person faithful to the Lord? If the answer is yes, then you owe them your love and support, even if they aren’t always very lovable. That is how you love the unlovely.
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Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.