I was struck recently by the satirical and cynical nature of our society and how the Church has swallowed this hook in many ways. It’s almost impossible to live in a culture and not wear it’s clothes.
I wonder why it is that we so quickly can become critical or judgmental of other people? Next time you are in a conversation with someone, about someone else, try and notice the tone or content of your words. How much of the conversation is praise about other people instead of what you don’t like about them?
“The ability to observe without evaluating is the highest form of intelligence.” - Jiddu Krishnamuriti
We often seem to be drawn to focus on other people’s imperfections, frustrated that they don’t live up to my expectations. There can be so many great things about someone, but we have to find and fixate on a weakness of theirs? Seriously?... Why do we do that? Why do we find it more satisfying to talk about people's failures rather than the great things about them?
Could it be that we make people feel or sound small so that might I feel bigger about myself?
Do you have a hard time when other people are praised? Do you feel the need to share something negative, or “equalizing”, about them to somehow “balance” a perspective? “WELL…(you think, or say)….you don’t know what I know about them!"
Is it maybe that I feel my personal worth is threatened when someone talks so highly of someone else? In those moments we compare ourselves and wonder if we should also be praised.
I think that our personal insecurity causes us to want the world to see things our way. The more people agree with me, the better I feel about myself. The truth is…we are all different and on different journeys of growth and personal development. Thankfully God doesn’t expect our instant perfection. He grows us in His time, for His purposes.
I love this admonition:
“I beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other's faults because of your love.” - Ephesians 4
I love this passage. And, it convinces me that I would rather be taken for naïve and trusting than run the risk of joining the judges and juries of a hyper-critical society.