I struggle with pride. Not in the traditional sense or in the positive I-love-me sense either. More that annoying what's-wrong-with-them-I-would-never-do-that way. It is wrong to think this way. I KNOW it is.
I look at people and I make little silent judgements. She is not working hard enough at her marriage, he is a slothful waste of space, her parenting is dispicable, he does not deserve to live, etc. Sound harsh? I agree.
I know that there is a right and a wrong. I can identify when other people do wrong but that does not mean I get to call them to the stand, or judge them. It isn't my job but yet I spend energy pouring emotional and mental energy into it.
Example I am willing to share: Kasey Anthony. (sp?) I have not in anyway followed this case outside what I inevitably saw on FB and randomly around the internet. Still I find myself angry at the jury for not convicting her since she is obviously guilty. The problems with that are 1. How do I know she is guilty when I have not even followed the case? 2. What makes me think I know the correct outcome to whatever she did or did not do?
I do know that God convicted ME to pray for the woman. So I do. I don't do it at bedtime prayers with Marley when it draws out my anger but later when I am alone, when the kids are asleep, I pray for her. What I pray is between God and myself but it has given me more peace. Putting it in His powerful hands, leaving it to the true judge gives me peace.
So that is one case where God triumphed over my nature. What about the rest? The tiny killings I commit in my mind EVERY day? How to stop those? The last few days I have had to start a mantra in my head. I am not better than her. I am not better than her.
God has convicted me of this in the past. When I purposefully ostracized a friend because she betrayed me. Several months later God hit me with great force with the message that I was NOT in a place where I could judge her and therefore punish her. Lesson learned. Behavior modified.
Still the little judge in my head speaks. "She brags constantly. Ignore her completly." "She is wasting her life and ruining her children, talk down to her, belittle her." "He is uninvolved with his kids, badmouth him." "He drinks constantly and abuses drugs right in front of his kids, talk down to him."
Each sin I see is assigned a punishment that I am capable of carrying out BUT IT ISN'T RIGHT.
My latest conviction just happened this evening. I have to be vague to protect my friend, her privacy and our relationship.(Months ago) I thought she is not working hard enough toward saving her relationship, she is making of it a mockery. I was not incorrect. Her behavior was not good but then I found out things I did not previously know. They didn't justify her behavior entirely but they made me realize that in her position I would have done much worse.
I'm not better than her. I'm in a better situation.
I'm sorry for all my silent judgements. I am not sure I can stop thinking all of them but I am going to try. I am going to try to make myself better by not thinking I am better than others. We're all human. We're all broken. Nothing without His grace, His mercy and occasionally His correction.
My job is not that of judge. I am called to be a fisher of men.
God, THANK YOU for showing me my errors. I am sorry I have to be reminded so frequently. I am glad that I do not have to live so long in this life with my inevitable sinning nature. I long to be close to You. Thank you for my children. The greatest gifts you could give me in this life. Be a light unto their path so that I do not cause them to stumble. Thank you for Your son who delivers me into Your hand.
"Meg, I give you your faults."
"My faults!" Meg cried.
"But I'm always trying to get rid of my faults!"
"Yes," Mrs. Whatsit said. "However, I think you'll find they'll come in very handy on Camazotz."
-A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L'Engle
Character building through trials.