Remember that post a couple days ago about thinking twice before speaking?
Well, first, I’ve been catching myself saying things I shouldn’t, stopping myself from saying things I shouldn’t, and generally being amazed by how many negative comments and thoughts cross my mind and almost exit my mouth.
Second, I absolutely am blown away by the horrible, negative things that I’ve been noticing exit other’s mouths. Blown. A. Way.
Perhaps the reason I am so shocked, and to be honest offended, is because the individuals I have been hearing the comments from believe they are absolutely justified in the things they are saying, are absolutely correct in their judgment, are casting themselves (perhaps unknowingly) in a superior light to others, and are doing all of these things while proudly wearing their “Super Christian” badge.
You know people like this, don’t you? There’s already an outline forming in your mind.
STOP IT! Don’t let that image form completely!
We have the power to control our thoughts. We do.
When the thought crosses my mind to stretch out my fingers and poke the gossiper, slanderer, general evil-doer straight in the eye for the horrid things they are saying, I’m guilty of passing the same type of judgment I’m accusing them of passing.
This is such a hard lesson for me learn.
I try to think the best of everyone. I encourage pretty much everyone. I try to build people up, and do my best not to tear people down to their face or behind their back.
When I happen to be the listener when a speaker is tearing someone down behind their back, something happens.
The person being talked about becomes the underdog to me. It doesn’t matter what their background is, what SES they belong to, what religion they belong to, or how I feel about them personally, once I have heard someone judge them unfairly, without cause, or just in general, well, they just assigned me the roll of defender and champion.
It makes my blood boil to see or hear people being judged, ostracized, bullied, or picked on in any way shape or form.
I have to control my tongue many times when it happens because I want to lash out at the one doing the bashing.
“What makes you perfect? Who are you to cast the first stone? Have you walked a mile in their shoes? Do you even have a CLUE what you’re talking about?”
These are the questions I want to shout in their faces many times, but I don’t. Wanna know why?
Because the accusers, the attackers, well, truth is they're lashing out because of lack in their own lives. They themselves are hurting, are missing something, are unhappy. Whatever they see in the life of the one they’re tearing down is either something they’re jealous of or something that reminds them of their own situation. So, instead of dealing with what’s inside of themselves, they lash out.
I’m no better. I have sin. I have no stones to throw.
This Think Twice, Speak Once rule is harder than it sounds. It is, however, already bringing attention to just how many words I speak carelessly without thought.
I want this year to be a year of building people up and tearing sin and the walls sin has built down. My words play a huge part in that. Most often it isn’t the conversations I start that count, but how I respond to conversations already in play that matter most.
Instead of poking people in the eye when they offend me, I need to make sure I’m a building block NOT a stumbling block.