What makes you dislike your neighbor? What causes you to pass judgment on someone prematurely? Why do you find it easier to identify faults in others, but find it hard to identify fault in yourself? This thing of pointing your finger at others has really boggled my mind lately.
I have noticed that folks are quick to criticize rather than empathize. We have limited patience in trying to understand someone else’s story, but God forbid something happens to us, we want the world to embrace, empathize, encourage and accept our own faults, falls and failures.
It’s time to understand that just like your backstory made you who you are, your fellow brother’s/sister’s backstory makes them who they are. And, if you find it hard to embrace someone else’s story, maybe you might want to check yourself to learn why that is so. If we would just take a moment to step out of ourselves we could possibly begin to not only appreciate someone else’s story, we would grow in our level of sensitivity and gratefulness for all we have.
I say that it is time to elevate our transparency. What does that look like? Maybe it looks like…
- Sharing how a hard week brought you to tears.
- Sharing how your insecurities get the best of you sometimes.
- Sharing how tired you are of trying to live up to people’s perceptions or the perceptions YOU have created of you.
- Sharing how your fear gets the best of you at times.
- Sharing how this thing that happened to you as child is the reason you did or said or do that thing now.
- Sharing how many times you mess up in a day.
- Sharing a fear you have about your future.
- Sharing how you failed a class or how it took you 7 years to complete college instead of four.
I am not saying you have to share your entire life story, but instead of always striving to create a perfect picture of yourself, show how imperfect you are. It’s in our imperfection that God is able to do a perfect work in us. If we act as if we are perfect and have a right to cast a stone, we create a false reality that will be impossible to maintain. All have and will fall short to the glory of God. No man is greater, better, more pure or powerful than another, we are all but filthy rags. Its by God’s grace and the shed blood of His son Jesus that we are washed whiter than snow.
And, just by chance you are not ready to share your story with another, look in the mirror and share your story with yourself. Remind yourself of all the good, bad and the ugly that you have experienced…maybe then you will be able to find the grace and love God gave you and extend it to your neighbor.
At the end of the day, “Don’t cast a stone at someone else, if you are not prepared to get at least one thrown back at you.”
Walk in faith. Live in love.