A. W. Tozer wrote, “Sometimes our trouble is not moral but physical. As long as we are in these mortal bodies our spiritual lives will be to some degree affected by our bodies—Shakespeare said something to the effect that no man could be a philosopher when he had a toothache, and while it is possible to be a weary saint, it is scarcely possible to be weary and feel saintly”.
We are wise to keep that in mind–for two reasons. First, doing so aids our attitude about self. We tend to get down on ourselves, feel guilty, and beat ourselves up because we can’t do the things we used to do or things we would like to do. We need to understand that God understands. He doesn’t expect more from us than we are able to do.
Second, we need to remember this because it serves as a safeguard concerning our thoughts about others. Many have the bad habit of misjudging others. Based on what we see we assume they are neglecting their duties or just making a halfhearted effort, but we don’t see the whole picture. They might be going through great difficulties that we don’t know anything about.
Even if we’ve been in a similar situation that doesn’t mean we know how they feel or are affected, as we often claim. Every person is different. You cannot know the severity of another person’s problem, nor the degree of their pain. No two people are alike. Their suffering might be far greater than you ever imagine. Saying, “I’ve been there done that. I know how you feel” might be well meant, but you’re wrong. You don’t know how they feel. Do some people over-react? Without a doubt. Do some people exaggerate? Of course they do. But we don’t have the right to accuse them of such, because we don’t really know.
If we are wise we’ll be more understanding, patient, and considerate. It’s not fair to bash someone when we don’t know all the facts. They might be doing much better than we would do under the same circumstances. Love would have us give them the benefit of the doubt. Even if the person is guilty as sin we’re not the judge. That person needs your prayers, not your criticism.