Judging Others

If we polled most Americans and asked them if we should judge others, I would say that the majority would say that we should not.  However, how many of us actually practice what we preach?  I would say not very many of us, unfortunately. We have all been taught from a very young age that we should not judge others.  We have all heard the scriptures, “Judge not, least you be judged in the same accord” or “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone,” but most of us do not do that.  I know that I am guilty of passing judgement myself.  The fact of the matter is none of us are blameless.  We all have sin in our lives, we all live our lives in a way that others can find fault with, and we all have different values and interpretations of what is right and wrong.  

The thing that most of us seem to forget is that we do not know everyone’s situation.  We do not know why they do the things they do.  We cannot see someone’s heart; we can only see their actions.  I personally think that we judge because it makes us feel better about our own lives.  We know that we are not perfect and it makes us feel bad about our shortcomings, so we find someone we think is even more flawed than we are and judge them for that.  I believe that if we all had the peace and hope that God offers us, we would find ourselves judging a lot less often.  

The thing is we can all be found unfit in some way.  Think of it like this; if we are able to find reasons to judge others, don’t we think that others can find reasons to judge us?  Of course they can.  We are all flawed, and we all do things that people think are wrong.  We need to focus on improving our own lives and allow God to convict us to make the changes we need to make in our own lives.  

God wants us to love our fellowman.  He wants us to encourage each other and build each other up.  He wants us to focus on changing our own lives, and in the process we may change someone else’s life.  God wants peace for all of us, and that peace cannot come to us if we have a judgmental spirit.  None of us have any idea what it is like to live someone else’s life.  We have not had their experiences, so we should not pass judgment on their choices and decisions.   

Peace and love will come to all of us if we set aside our judgmental attitudes and accept people for whom they are.  If they need to change, God will change them.  It is not our job. Let Him be the judge of others.  Our job is to work on our own lives and give people the benefit of the doubt.  When we can truly do this and rid our lives ofjudgmental attitudes, our lives will be full of more peace than we can ever imagine and PEACE MATTERS!

~Dan~    

An Optimistic Spirit

The world in which we live is full of negativity.  It seems that we are unable to escape it.  It is everywhere we go.  We cannot turn on the radio or television, get on the Internet, or go to work without being exposed to negativity.  We often participate in this negativity, and sometimes we even feed it.  There is so much negativity in the world that is seems, at times, that we thrive on it.  It seems that it is all we focus on and all we talk about.  Changing a negative spirit is difficult, but it can be done.  

We all need to train our minds to focus more on the positive.  It is impossible to have peace in our lives if we have a negative spirit.  God has called us to be an optimistic people.  To have an optimistic spirit or be an optimistic person, we have to have a partnership with God.  An optimistic spirit has trust, hope, and faith.  These things come from God.  If we allow Him to, God will train us to let go of the bad.  If we truly have faith and hope in God, He will allow us to see all the positives there are in life.  When we have an optimistic spirit, we do not seek out or tune into the negativity of the world.  I am not saying that we should bury our heads in the sand and refuse to accept that there is negativity in the world, but we have to spend most of our time focusing on the good rather than the bad.  

If we want to do something about the negative things in life, we need to start with ourselves.  We cannot change the world if we do not have a positive or optimistic spirit.  It is, in a way, a grassroots movement that will start out slowly but begin to grow if we change our own attitudes first.  When we have an optimistic spirit, we can firmly close the door on all that which oppresses people.  An optimistic spirit has joy in knowing God’s goodness, faithfulness, and honesty.  The result of an optimistic spirit is a peaceful spirit.  When we surround ourselves with negativity or negative people, we cannot expect to have an optimistic spirit.  If negativity breeds negativity then the opposite must also be true.  Positivity breeds positivity.   An optimistic spirit extinguishes the fearful spirit of those living in negativity.  God wants us to be the positive influence on others that changes their negativity.  

So, how do we do that?  Like I said before, we have to start with ourselves.  We have to train our minds to see positivity in the world more than we see negativity.  We have to surround ourselves with positive things and people.  We have to communicate with God and ask Him to help us see the good in the world.  There still is good in the world, and there are still positive things on which to focus.  Those events are not often reported by the media because they do not make popular stories.  We are so focused on negativity that that is all we want to hear about.  We expect to turn on the news or read the paper and see a story about something negative.  In fact, when we see something positive, we are surprised.  I find that very sad.  I want to live in a world where I am surprised when I hear about a negative story.  You may be thinking that that is an unrealistic attitude to have, but really, I do not think it is.  We all live in a little bubble.  The world is a big place, but our part of it is relatively small.  If we can change our little area of the world by having an optimistic spirit, it can spread to other parts of the world.  

So, let’s make a conscious effort to cause that change to occur.  Let’s focus on the positivity in the world.  If we cannot see anything positive in the world, let’s create it.  Let’s not participate in talk that breeds negativity, let’s not be drawn to the negative stories reported by the media. Instead, let’s look for positive things on which to focus.   I think it would be a wonderful idea if we would all have gatherings at our homes, churches, or schools where negative talk or attitudes are not allowed.  When we gather at these events, we should discuss only positive things or ways to make positive things happen.  I really think it will make a difference in all of our lives and in the lives of other people.  I truly believe we can do this, if we start with ourselves first and allow God to train our minds to see the positive things in life.  It may be difficult at first, but it will get easier and pretty soon there will be more positivity in our lives, and that will make the world a more peaceful place and Peace Matters!

~Dan~