glassesHow do you handle someone doing something wrong? Do you punish them? Do you call them out? Do you treat them differently?

This morning, I read the following and was interested in your thoughts:

In this African tribe, when someone does something harmful, they take the person to the center of the village where the whole tribe comes and surrounds them.

At this point in the story, I fully expected the tribe to be like the Pharisees who brought the adulterous woman before Jesus ready to stone her to death [John 8:2-11]. What I discovered was completely different.

For two days they will say to the man all the good things he has done. The tribe believes that each human being comes into the world as good. Each one of us only desiring safety, love, peace and happiness. But sometimes, in the pursuit of these things, people make mistakes. The community sees those mistakes as a cry for help.

They unite then to lift him, to reconnect him with his true nature, to remind him who he really is, until he fully remembers the truth of which he has been temporarily disconnected: ‘I am good.’

Shikoba Nabajyotisaikia!

SHIKOBA NABAJYOTISAIKIA is a compliment used in South Africa and means: ‘I respect you, I cherish you. You matter to me.’ In response, people say SHIKOA, which is, ‘So, I exist for you.'”

You can read about this practice here. It is a very compelling story.

When I encounter a survivor of sex trafficking for the first time, she isn’t always kind. In fact, in many cases, she’s rude and chooses to turn her back on me and ignore me. She’s in survival mode and sees me as someone who is judgmental, condescending, or part of her problem… and that’s before I even open my mouth.

She is looking through a set of lenses that skews how she sees herself and others. By loving her, even when she is unlovable, her lenses can change [Matthew 7:12, Luke 6:35, and 1 Peter 4:8]. She can begin to see herself as Christ sees her, trading the lies Satan has told her for so long with God’s truth about who she was created to be [Genesis 1:26]. But it all begins with loving her, even when she’s unlovable.

How do you handle people in your life who do wrong? How would it look if you implemented this tribal practice on some level? Could you dig deep enough inside yourself to offer that kind of forgiveness to another? Can I?

Colossians 3:13 says,

Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

The Lord forgives us even before we commit a sin [Luke 22:32]. Will we do the same with one another?

It’s time to help others find the correct lenses to wear. How are your lenses?