Think about the last time you judged someone. Maybe it was during your morning commute and the person in front of you wasn’t driving quite up to your standards. Perhaps it was at the gym and you made comments to yourself about the attire that certain people deemed acceptable to wear. Maybe it was during a coffee date with another mom friend. We find ourselves judging without even realizing it sometimes, don’t we? We have all judged someone. We have all justified it. We might tell ourselves that we are doing right by judging because they need to know they are wrong. There is a difference between disagreeing with someone and judging them. When we judge, we are throwing a stone at that person. Who gave us the right to do so?
Put down your stones.
It’s not easy. Putting down your stones can sometimes feel like you are supporting something with which you don’t agree. What if Instead of casting stones we loved people instead? Loving your neighbor who is struggling with addiction does not mean you support their addiction. Loving your friend who is struggling in a marriage does not mean you support the choices that friend may be making. What if you were that neighbor or co-worker? How would you feel if the stones were being thrown in your direction?
It gets harder.
I have thrown many stones at my own dad for choices that he has made in life that directly hurt me. About three years ago, I made a decision. I put down those stones. And something amazing happened. It lifted what felt like an actual weight off my back. I didn’t realize how much those stones were weighing me down. Let’s be realistic. I still have days where I judge choices he made in the past. I am human. I share with him my views and the way I want to live my life even though it may be different than the way he wants to live. And, I don’t know if I will ever fully be able to open my heart back up to him. But I do make a decision each time I see him that I will not pick those stones back up.
Don’t interpret your stone throwing as a successful way to communicate with people about how you feel. You may feel super passionate about something and want to tell the world about it. It’s good to be passionate, but don’t throw stones to get your point across. And, yes, you may need to remove yourself from harmful situations. But, don’t pick up the stones in the process.
Are you ready?
Let’s all put down our stones on the count of three.
There. Feels better, doesn’t it?