Have you ever had an acquaintance, friend or family member that you just dread bumping into? Maybe it is because they live a life that you just cannot watch tumble down. Maybe it is because you just cannot seem to feel anything but insecure around them. (I like to call these people “insecurity instigators”). Maybe you just feel a little awkward around this person. Have I hit a button yet? We all have these types of people in our lives. I can think of lots of them!
I was pondering today, why I avoid these people in my life. It is hard to be charitable to people who make me depressed, unhappy and sometimes creep me out. Today as I was reading through a couple different meditations, I realized there was connection to both of readings: they both talked about charity. Charity is not limited to good works. Goodwill, generosity, helpfulness are all synonyms for charity. One that really stands out to me today is the definition that states “lenient judgment of others.” Whoa there! I never thought of charity in this sense. If I am to be charitable to others it doesn’t just mean that I can donate my money or serve at a food pantry; it means I must lesson my judgment of all people.
So, when I dread bumping into those “insecurity instigators,” it is because I am having trouble stopping my judgment upon them. I am allowing the people to make me insecure, not because of something they have done, but because I cannot handle my mind jumping into judgment mode. It is actually my own sin that is causing me to be uncomfortable and the “insecurity instigators” just seem to well, they just seem to instigate that within me.
How do I stop this from happening? How do I change my mind from sinful thoughts to charitable thoughts?
• Recognize that you are being judgmental
• Pray for God’s help
• Find that same sinful behavior in yourself
• Thank God for that person’s life here on earth
• Be grateful for the gifts that God has given you in life
God gives us the ability to be charitable to everyone. Even to the people who we find are hard to love. One of the quotes that I read today was from an American Proverb, “Before sunlight can shine through a window, the blinds must be raised.” Isn’t that the truth! Before I can see the good in someone else, I must let go of my own insecurities. Before I can accept people for where they are at, I must recognize all the good and the bad in myself. Before I can face my “insecurity instigators,” I must allow God to shine the light on them so I can see them in God’s eyes, not Anne’s.
Does this mean that all people are easy to love if I follow these steps? Of course not, but we are called to love all through God’s eyes. You can only change yourself; you cannot change your “insecurity instigators.” And more importantly, some of these people you cannot hide from – especially if they are family. You must learn to face them and what better way to do that than through God’s eyes?