Today’s Gospel: Matthew 7:1-5
This passage is a familiar one and one that can be hard for us to swallow, yet it is one with a vital message to help us each become a better version of ourselves. For me, even when I don’t actually voice criticism of others, I am often thinking it. I am judging their actions, their little annoyances, their quirks, their bad habits, and their weaknesses. It is so easy to see the worst in people, especially people in our own families or those who we interact with on a regular basis. Yet ironically, often the characteristics or habits of others that bother us the most are the ones most similar to our own shortcomings.
Even if our faults are completely different than the person next to us, they are still faults and no one is perfect, even though we often act as though we are. We all have many dark corners in our hearts that need to be dug up, replanted and watered regularly with drops of charity so that we can cultivate love towards others instead of judgment.
I heard a priest once say in a homily that we should only judge others enough to pray for them and leave the rest to God. So our only judgment on others should be to realize they need prayers to help them in their struggles just as we each need prayers to help us in our struggles. We are all in the same boat, trying to live this human experience in the best way we know possible, learning from our mistakes and moving forward, not comparing our progress to others but only focusing on bettering ourselves. Because in reality, the only actions we can control and change are our own.
How can I turn my judgement of others into an opportunity to pray for them?
Lord, help me to focus on my own spiritual progress and not worry about the amount of progress or virtue I see in others.
Copyright 2017 Hannah Christensen