I’ve got a list – in my head; I wouldn’t dare put it on paper – a list of actions, attitudes and appearances that are acceptable to me. And, of course, there’s a second list of things that are unacceptable. The disturbing thing is that many of the things on my list of unacceptables are petty. I’m too embarrassed to name them. But they keep me from accepting the person as they are. The truth I’m coming to deal with is simply this: living judgmentally places my limits, my life-patterns on
the other person… and keeps both of us from living fully in a welcoming,
supportive relationship. And the pressures of caregiving heighten any tension.
I’m coming to see more clearly that living in judgment of others distorts my understanding of my own need for forgiveness and renewal. Jesus said, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye.: (Matthew 7:3 NIV) I’ve stewed and stumbled over many a “speck of sawdust” and lived self-righteously with the” plank” that clouded my ability to see people and situations clearly.
We’ve long since learned that caregiving is not simply the work of our minds and hands, as essential as both are to what we do. But the attitudes of our hearts are meant to bring a nurturing, healing grace and tenderness to even our most demanding tasks. Dealing with the “specks of sawdust” and the “planks” in our relationships with all who share in the caregiving process turns judgmental attitudes into healing .
Prayer – Help me to see my judgmental thoughts and ways more clearly.
Forgive me, and teach me to show your grace and acceptance to others. Amen
Photo courtesy of Alek Zaslawski (www.awzorchids.com), copyright 2017