We all know it is easier to point out the faults of others. It is no secret that we can see the error of those we know and even those we haven’t even met. We read posts and think how ignorant someone seems. We hear speeches and wonder how they could think that way. We make decisions about others based on snippets of information that we deem necessary. And we decide if they have anything valuable to offer. We often do all of this without checking ourselves out.
What is it about that other person that sets us off? What is it about us that makes us want to insult or belittle someone else? Is there something we are afraid of? Is there a problem within us that is unresolved? We can easily put our insecurities off on someone else. We insult so that we validate our point of view. We judge so that we feel better about who we are. It is rarely about the other person and way too often about us.
What if we, instead, spent some time considering why that person’s comments make us uncomfortable? What might be different if we look at what it is about that opinion which makes us feel we have to demean someone else? Is it really necessary to blast someone else for believing something different than us? Or is it really just something we need to work out?
I find that when people share their thoughts and opinions, they are doing just that – sharing their thoughts and opinions. Some commentary and responses are fine. But if what they believe infuriates us or causes us to attack – that is about us, not about them. That is all about something that is deep in us. Maybe it is fear that drives us to attack. Maybe it is our lack of understanding. It could be that we don’t want to hear anything other than what we believe and we are willing to blast out anything else. We lose the value of conversation in an effort to prove we are right and everyone else is wrong.
Instead of doing that…what if we spent time just looking at ourselves? What might be different if we looked at where we might be wrong? What changes if we simply listen to someone different than us? Does it hurt to simply hear others even if we will never agree? We don’t lose our view by simply being kind. We don’t lose our belief by not belittling someone else’s belief. We might, instead, begin to see it really was about us and our insecurities. We might find we need to work on ourselves. I might need to check me out. And then I might be able to look a little more like someone that is full of love. Maybe we could try that out today.
1 Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
and cleanse me from my sin.
Photos included in Devotions are captured by David Cain – The Cain Gallery. Photos are available for sale by contacting The Cain Gallery