Regardless of your worldview, religion or spirituality, I have a verse for you to ponder with me today, if you will, about criticising or judging other people and why it’s hurting you.
I used to read Luke 6:37 as being about being a nice person to other people, and yes, absolutely, that’s a whopping great part of it.
BUT, in this work over the past few years, I’ve come to look at the wisdom in these words as being about more than just that. This verse actually hints at something else- that is, the consequences for US if we don’t exercise compassion and grace to other people. Simply put in non-theological terms, it will bite us in the ass.
Sharp-tongued and cut-mouthed!
Time and time again I have come across people who have vicious tongues about others, and those same people are TORMENTED by living in their own heads. The people I encounter who are the most critical and judgmental of others are consistently haunted by their own demons. They consistently struggle to have compassion for themselves.
Now let me clarify a point– people who struggle to be nice about themselves are not all mean about other people- it doesn’t work consistently that way round! However, what I have seen time and time again, that has brought me to reading this verse differently, is that when we fail to have compassion for others, we struggle to have it for ourselves.
The really good news about all this is that, even if the idea of being gentler to ourselves is too hard to stomach, we can often find room to gain compassion for others, to work on even being curious about what motivates them, rather than making assumptions. Finding this little chink of light where others are concerned, in turn pays dividends for how we treat ourselves.
We ALL screw things up from time to time, we’re human, it goes with the territory. We ALL need others to cut us a little slack from time to time. It’s ok. We ALSO get the opportunity to extend that to others, and, as a consequence, to ourselves.
When we change how we think and talk about others, we change the mental set-list that we hear when WE go to do something. Instead of imagining that everyone is sitting there thinking how stupid/fat/boring we are (like we used to do to others), we can instead change that ‘set-list’ , that song in our heads, to where it is supportive, non-judgmental and helpful!
Over to You!
What do you think? Comment and let me know what thoughts/ideas this raised for you and let’s keep the discussion going!