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Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Doing the Best We Can

It seems frustration with others is the order of the day. At least, that’s what the media would have us believe. Or maybe it’s just me, trying to blame the media. I find myself becoming impatient with others when their personalities, behaviors, etc. don’t align with my own.

What helps me when I feel like being judgmental is thinking this: We're all just doing the best we can. And if I think someone isn't doing the best they can, it's not up to me to decide that they can or should be doing “better”. This way of thinking doesn’t ALWAYS work, but often if I just pause and remember that we all are unique in our sensibilities and ways that we respond to life, I may be able to give someone a break.

Here’s what the Bible says about it:

"Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. "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? How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye. ~ Matthew 7:1-5


So watch yourselves. "If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them. Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying 'I repent,' you must forgive them." Luke 17:3-4

Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:31-32

We so easily find fault in others instead of seeing our own shortcomings; maybe the double standard stems from our strong sense of conviction that we’re right.

I know that I’ll still struggle with this, but asking God for help in my everyday interactions with others, both in person and online, will allow me to begin to see others as God sees them: worthy of love and compassion.

Prayer: Dear Lord, help me when I start to judge others harshly. Help me remember that we’re all doing the best we can, with what we’ve been given. Amen.

Donna Gustafson   

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