Part of being a woman is that we are fraught with the broadest spectrum of feelings and sensitivities. We feel deeply and we often analyze others actions. I've also been reading a book called How to stop the pain by James Richards. In part of this book he talks about judgement. No, not the normal view of judgement. I'm talking about judging someone elses heart. When we take offense or are hurt by something someone did to us, often we make a judgement call. Example. A Pastor walks by and a church goer sees him and tries to say hello. He has had a very busy day and is unaware of his surroundings and doesn't hear them say anything. The churchgoer, let's name her Sally, makes a judgement about the Pastor. She thinks "He's deliberately ignoring me," "He doesn't like me," etc etc ad nauseum. Really none of these things are true, but Sally makes a judgement of the Pastors actions. Want another one? My husband is away on business. When I get to talk to him he's short with me and sounds frazzled. Automatically I assume he's being mean, flippant, on purpose. I JUDGE his actions. Worst of all I JUDGE his motives and his heart for me. What really is going on is that he's had 12 hour workdays for 3 days now and he's exhausted. It has nothing to do with me. The worst part about taking offense is that we make a judgement call about someone's motives...... .... someone's heart. It's a self centered way of thinking that I am all too easily caught up in. A temptation many of us struggle with is the temptation to judge others. Few transgressions are more strongly condemned in the New Testament."Do not judge and you will not be judged" (Mt 7:1). Yet we are caught up in it before we know it. Moreover, it is not always easy to see what is wrong about judging people; surely it is a basic life skill to be able to assess people and situations. But even with the most halting of footsteps in the silent land, we see that judging others really is not about perceptions and assessments of others, but the way in which the jaws of our convictions lock so tightly around people that we actually think we know what life is like for them, what they really ought to do or think, as though we know their innermost hearts, as though we know what only God can know." 124 ~~excerpt from "Into The Silent Land" by Martin Laird As I look at my life and the things that I take offense at, I realize that 99% of the time, the actions of someone else had nothing to do with me. That person had a busy day, didn't hear me, misunderstood me, wasn't thinking about it etc. So here's one more way to be beautiful. Give grace. Assume the best of peoples actions. If you cannot do that, there's an easy fix. Ask! Ask them what they meant when they said ____. Ask them if they meant to overlook ___. (mentally noting to take my own advice) There is nothing in this world more beautiful than a woman who can look at others and their actions in a gracious, loving way.
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