Lately I’m realizing how prone to being judgmental I am.  I size up many situations and jump to conclusions with a bent toward criticism.

Young man at health club lets water fountain run all over the floor“Didn’t his mother train him how to clean up after himself?”

Older man does the same a week later“How rude of him to leave such a mess.”

Young woman not very friendly when I say hello“Wonder what her deal is? She should be much nicer, especially given her leadership role.”

Disheveled gal on stage speaking“Why can’t she seem to get it together, we’re professionals here, and I’m bored.”

Granted, having opinions and convictions can serve one well, especially as a leader.  But without a big dose of patience and grace to go with them, we divide and distance, more than heal and bring near.

My husband inspires me to be a more compassionate fellow human being.  I see him face even the most rude, inconsiderate people with a warm smile and kindness.  Time and again their faces soften and tones change, sometimes tears even come to their eyes, reminding us that people have a lot of pain, and everyone needs grace. 

When the older man (mentioned above) spilled the water a week after the first guy, recognizing my jump to judgment I wiped up his spill, attempting to train myself to lay aside criticism and serve.  In just a few moments he returned with a rag in hand, awkwardly surprised to see someone had cleaned his mess.  As our eyes met and he knew it was me, I was humbled and grateful I’d changed my pattern this time. The dear man clearly deserved some grace.  Don’t we all.

The gal on the stage (mentioned above) is me, many times while speaking, when technology doesn’t cooperate or a driver gets me there late.  I sure hope the audience listens anyway, and cheers me on vs. zoning out and wondering what my problem is. Those who want grace ought to give it (hmm, isn’t that deep.)

So here’s to working on no judgment, praying too, and practicing a new reflex muscle through more acts of kindness, committed to assuming the best vs. believing the worst.

James 2:12-13 “Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful.  Mercy triumphs over judgment!”

Oh so grateful it does.

Does anyone else resonate?  How are YOU practicing patience and grace?

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