Jesus hangs on the cross. A man says to him, “Can I give you some constructive criticism?”
LOVING OTHERS AND CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM
Want to show love? Silently be with one who is suffering.
When people are suffering, the last thing they want or need is advice on what they did wrong or what they can do better.
I wonder what this man is going to say, because we know he’s going to say it anyway.
“It’s your limiting beliefs that got you here.”
“You brought this on yourself.”
“Your breathing isn’t the best for pain management.”
“If you put a dab of essential oil under your nose it will help you think happy thoughts.”
“If you had a job and saved money you could have bought your way out of this.”
“Don’t think of this negatively, because you’re going to a better place.”
How many of you have heard something like these?
If you can, remove all the divine attributes projected onto Jesus in the passion narrative and think of him as just a man.
There are a few insights into a person who was suffering. Never once did he reprimand his friends for not offering good advice. But he did mention that they couldn’t even stay up with him in the garden on that dark night. He did mention that they betrayed him in his hour of need. He did mention that they all abandoned him in his suffering.
All he wanted was friendship. Their presence.
Even then he didn’t condemn them because he knew that just being with someone in their suffering is one of the hardest things you can do.
Want to show love? Just be with someone in their struggle without trying to fix them.