Thursday, July 15, 2004
Life is never as bad as you think it is, and it's never going as well as you think it is, either. I was talking to someone yesterday, and she was commenting on how there are so many people who are so much worse off than she is. In her own pain and circumstances, she's still comparing herself to others and seeing that her own situation isn't so bad.
But I wanted to tell her that we still can't compare things like that from our limited perspectives. While I might look down on a man having problems with his children in the store, I can't stand in judgment - I don't know that his son might be dealing with a painful inner earache and that's shy he's throwing a fit. Or that maybe his wife left him and he's just doing the best he can. Or that he might actually be looking at me and looking down on me since I'm overweight and while I'm saying "poor man", he's saying "poor man" right back.
Just thinking out loud. Jesus said not to judge, lest you be judged, and that whatever measure we use to judge others, that same measure will be used back on us. In the context of forgiveness (Matt 7:1-5; Luke 6:35-38), maybe the "measure we should use" in judging others is mercy. We are so quick to demand justice for those who are wrong, and so quick to look for mercy for our own mistakes. But if we were to judge with forgiveness in mind, perhaps we'd also be quicker to receive the forgiveness of others.
I'm just rambling, but I think I go on the defensive when confronted with my own life - because I am being offensive in my own judgments of others when I think they are wrong, and I expect them to be offensive in their own judgments of me. I am being judged as I judge, or at least that's my perception. Would I be better able to take criticism if I stopped being so critical? Would I be better equipped to repent if I'm also doing a better job of being forgiving towards those around me? Hmmmm...