Tag: judge

Crazy slow drivers. Crazy fast drivers.

I was driving down the interstate the other day, just cruising along minding my own business. Creeping to the top of a hill, two lanes merged into one as I passed the “merge ahead” sign. I turned my left signal on, checked my driver’s side mirror, and drifted before the right lane ended. Courteously, I might add.

merge1

image credit: Blog.GetVero.com

Then out of nowhere, a little sports car whipped around me, from the left lane into the right, then barely getting back into the left lane in front of me, before the lane he was in morphed to a gravel-y shoulder.

I gave him a polite, yet ‘I-know-what-you-did-and-I-want-you-to-know-that-I’m-angry-but-not-angry-enough-to-go-road-rage-on-you’ honk of my horn, and shook my head in disgust.

‘That guy was crazy,’ I mumbled through clenched jaws.

But I cooled off.

About .5 mile ahead, I approached a car driving a little slower than I. Quite a bit slower than I, in fact. The speed limit was 65 mph, and he (I tend to assign gender to cars when I get frustrated) was poking along at a measly 52 mph.

The nerve!

Didn’t he know the speed limit? Didn’t he know I was in a hurry? Does he not have any sort of a life, that he has so much time on his hands he can go 13 mph under the speed limit?

I fumed until he turned right, and I could resume my speed of choice.

The hypocrisy of it all

I am, of course, a prototypical hypocrite. I judge people on things I don’t want to be judged on. I hold others responsible for things I don’t hold myself responsible for. I curse you, then turn around and do exactly what I cursed you for.

I’m a big dummy.

Although it’s kind of silly, I think we do this same sort of thing in a lot of areas of life.

Driving

* If someone drives faster than we do, they’re a crazy driver.

* If someone drives slower than we do, they’re wasting our time.

Working out

* If someone works out (and we don’t), they’re a crazy workout-aholic.

* If someone doesn’t work out (and we do), they’re a lazy bum.

Dieting

* If someone eats healthy (and we don’t), then they’re a health nut fanatic.

* If someone eats whatever they want (and we eat healthy), then they probably don’t care about their body.

Finances

* If someone drives a nice vehicle (and we don’t), then they are probably unwise with their money.

* If someone drives a junker of a vehicle (and we drive something newer), then they probably don’t take care of their stuff. They’re not good stewards of God’s gifts.

Church attendance

* If someone goes to church regularly (and we don’t), then they’re a crazy religious zealot.

* If someone doesn’t go to church regularly (and we do), then they’re a dirty rotten sinner who doesn’t think about God or others.

TV

* If someone watches TV (and you don’t), they probably love to waste their life away.

* If someone doesn’t (and you do), they are just a prude.

Social media

* If someone posts consistently on social media (and you don’t), they have no idea how to manage their time.

* If someone doesn’t post (and you do), they don’t understand how people in this generation connect.

We are quick to judge others and slow to judge ourselves. We judge others in hard lines and cut-and-dry terms.

But when we judge ourselves, we judge with grace. We give allowance for busy schedules. For having kids around the house. For having an extra stressful season at work.

We give ourselves a little slack when it comes to the way we handle our money (things are tight right now). The patience, or lack thereof, we have with our kids (they were being overly difficult). Our eating habits (I traveled a lot this month). Our driving habits (we were in a hurry to go to…church).

We’re modern-day Pharisees, casting stones at others and dodging the ones thrown at us. We feel justified in our path as we spit and jeer at others.

Next time you’re tempted to judge, lead with grace. That’s what you do with yourself, isn’t it?

It’s like what Paul hinted at in 1 Corinthians 13.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. – Paul, 1 Corinthians 13:7

Love believes the best, hopes the best, and is able to endure because it chooses love first. It chooses to believe right motives until it hears otherwise. It chooses to position itself like it wants to be positioned, in the seat of grace.

Isn’t that how you want to be judged?

And the crazy part is that God knows us. Fully. Yet still gives us grace. And then more grace. (Re: James 4:6)

Let’s lead like that in our relationships.

See ya on the road. You crazy driver.

 

Quit trying to be funny

Want a snapshot into my thought process?  Here you go.

image by Beaty Bass

Me: I could write a blog off of this thought:

If you’re not funny, don’t try to be.

Because I read something the other day where someone was trying to be funny, and they weren’t.  It was painful.

My brain: But you write things that you think are funny.  And they’re not.  So they’re painful.

Me: Ouch.

My brain: Don’t judge people on a funniness scale.

Me: I don’t mean to jud…

My brain: And who made you the funny judge, anyway?

Me:

My brain: And isn’t “funny” subjective?  What’s funny to you may not be funny to everyone.

Me: Well, ok.  But some things just aren’t funny. Case-in-point: well, um…I can’t think of one right now.  But you know what I mean.

My brain: You mean that there are some things that just aren’t universally funny.  Right?

Me: Yeah.

My brain: There you go again.  Judging “funny” purely by what you find “funny.”

Me: But why would someone write something intending to be funny, when they’re not?

My brain: Hey, you don’t have to read their stuff…

Me: I guess not, but…

My brain: No, you don’t.  Just quit reading.

Me: I guess you’re right.  Nobody is forcing me to read.  That would be weird if they did.

My brain: Don’t you write from your own experiences?

Me: Yes.

My brain: And aren’t your experiences sometimes funny to you?

Me: Yes.

My brain: Boom!  Then you just contradicted yourself.  You’re funny to you, but not to everyone.  Isn’t this what you’re frustrated with other writers about?

Me: I suppose…

My brain: And are you forcing anyone to read your stuff?

Me: I sure hope not.

My brain: What kind of an answer is that?  It’s either a “yes” or a “no.”

Me: I guess that realizing there are countless voices out there, and that those non-funny funny guys can have their voice, too, is good.

My brain: Finally.  You get it.  It doesn’t matter.  They’re funny to someone.

Me: Be who you are, and let others be who they are. Hey, I think I’ll Twitter that.  Wait, no.  I’m having an important internal dialogue right now.  Stick with it.

My brain: What just happened right there?

Me: Sorry.  …But can’t I be a little critical?  Bust on people a little when they’re not funny?

My brain: Nope.  Again…you’re not that funny to most people.

Me: Ok, ok…I get it.  I’m not funny either.  Will you lighten up already?

My brain: You need to lighten up.  Give people the freedom to express themselves however they want.

Me: Fair enough.

See what I have to deal with?  Here’s my own takeaway from my own thought process:

I’ll let you be you.

In fact, let me take that one step further.

Please, please…you be you.

We need you.  Your brand of humor.  Your style of relating.  Your way of leading.  Your ideas, passions, giftings, and set of failures.  Your training, your taste, and your family dynamics.
Don’t be me.  I won’t be you.

And, I promise…I won’t judge you for being you.

Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other. In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. (Romans 12:4-6)

 

 

© 2022

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑