We have a tendency to judge people by their actions, and actions by their people.
“This person’s actions offended/hurt/inconvenienced me! They must be an evil, controlling, stuck up person bent on oppressing the minority groups which make up the majority of this world!”
“Yes that is a good product, but the person who made it ended up doing ____ action which means that we can’t touch it without saying we support that person’s _____ activities!”
How many times a day do we tie actions and people together as an indivisible entity incapable of avoiding influence by the other?
The only problem is that people and actions are fairly different things.
Actions are static. People are dynamic.
Until you do an action, an action does not exist. The intention may exist. The temptation may exist. But the action itself does not exist until it has been done. In the same way, once the action IS done, it cannot be undone… it cannot be justified or corrupted…. the action took place. The effects of said action may last a short or long time… the repercussions of the action may be good or bad… but once the action has happened, it has happened. You may be able to fix the repercussions of an action, but you can never redeem an action as that moment in life has passed.
People on the other hand are not so black and white. People are dynamic; always changing. A man who was a tyrant today, may be a saint tomorrow. A person who is a charity giver today, may be a destroyer tomorrow. People are NOT born “Good” or “Evil” like so many like to believe. We are capable of both… and always have been. It is a challenge for anyone to stay on the straight and narrow, and that is why it’s so important to keep on fighting through it! People are not born saints or monsters. We just decide what we want to live for, and how much we’re willing to fight for it.
People’s intentions are difficult to read. An actions results are not always their purpose.
Nobel desired to create an easier way to get through mountains, and instead created one of the greatest killers known to man. Ben Hur was written to prove God could not exist, yet instead turned the author to God while writing it.
As Joseph observed in the Old Testament “What you intended for evil, God intended for good.”
Whatever the intentions of our actions may be. Once we perform them, the results of them are out of our hands. We may hurt those we wish to help. We may help those we wish to stop. Life is not so simple that things work out the way we plan.
I feel like this distinction is an important one to make. We live in a world that continues to grow more and more lazy and self centered. The more they become this way, the harder it is for people to see each other for more than their actions, and harder for them to make assumptions on anything more than the results their actions had made. People are so much more in depth than something so shallow though. And some of the greatest benefits to God’s plan, could come from the earlier works of tyrants.
This world is not, nor has ever been in the control of humanity. Our value and debt are not weighed by our observations and opinions (praise the Lord!) There is truth to every lie. There is a silver lining to every dark cloud. There is a hurting person behind every madman. Live. Fight. Grow