Do you struggle with being judgmental? Do you find itâ€™s easy to be critical of others, especially if they donâ€™t think, act or speak in ways in which you agree? If thatâ€™s the case, here are a couple of things which may help: empathy and love.
Â Â Itâ€™s very simple, try to understand the other personâ€™s point of view, but go deeper than you would normally. Try to get at least some level of understanding of whatâ€™s behind their actions, words and thinking. Itâ€™s easy to forget everyone has a distinctive background and is wired differently. Their life experiences influence how they process things and make decisions. In short, they didnâ€™t get where they are today, overnight. One way to think of it is people are doing the best they can with what they have -even if it doesnâ€™t appear so to you. Their perspectives are different than yours. Hereâ€™s a simple example: Right, wrong or indifferent, what sort of things did you learn from your parents? Do you suppose what you grew up believing is the same as everyone else? Does everyone of your friends keep identical family traditions that you observe? Have you noticed not everyone has the same work ethic? Some have learned different standards than what you possess.Â Parental influence alone causes people to think and act differently than you. Not to mention those who have been knocked down by life. Some are crippled by fear, while others are flat angry, and so on. On the other hand, they might be wondering whatâ€™s wrong with you.
Â Â As disciples of Jesus Christ, we cannot expect non-disciples to â€œact like Christians.â€ Itâ€™s not who they are, especially since theyâ€™re led by a different spirit.
Â Â Ephesian 2:1-3 And you hath He quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. Â Â
Â Â Did you notice that statement: â€œThe spirit that now works in the children of disobedienceâ€? Notice also it says, â€œWherein in time past ye walked.â€ Prior to Jesus, we were in the same boat. While we donâ€™t live in the past, it does make it easier to be empathetic when we remember from where we came. Remember, it was Godâ€™s favor alone that brought us out of darkness. It wasnâ€™t our charming behavior!
Â Â Everyone has thought, said or done things they regret. If we think about it, and with Holy Spiritâ€™s help, we all can trace the cause of those things if weâ€™re honest. Why do some want others to be understanding when they blow it; and yet, have a hard time being the same when others blow it? Of course, some want a severe beating when they blow it, but thatâ€™s another issue. Most people donâ€™t strategize how theyâ€™re going fall flat on their face, but fall they do. Most donâ€™t decide to make bad decisions, but bad decisions they still make. To be clear, people have made amazingly good decisions; but some of them were by accident. There are threads that weave through everyoneâ€™s life. Those chains of events and influences play a part in how people arrived to their current circumstances.
Â Â We know love is not easily offended and covers a multitude of sins. It is interested in the welfare of others, and looks for ways to lift them up out of the mire. By nature, love employs empathy, and goes to the heart of the matter. It seeks to understand more than it does to be understood. Love doesnâ€™t call people on the carpet; it seeks to get them off the carpet. At the same time, it doesnâ€™t jump into the pit with someone, except to tie a line around their waste in order to help get them out. It definitely does not stay there. Love looks outward; itâ€™s not inward focus, except for when self-awareness is required. Looking through the eyes of Jesus is paramount. Think of the way He treats you. Do you treat others the same way? He didnâ€™t hold your sins against you. Why would any of us want to hold anything against another?
Â Â 2 Corinthians 5:18-21 And all things are of God, Who hath reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made Him to be sin for us, Who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.Â Â
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