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Isn’t it just dandy when you realize something bad about yourself? You have a whole strain of similar thoughts about a person, or group of people, and it happens over and over. And then you realize this: Holy WOW-I’m kind of a jerk.
Example: Everyday I drive downtown for work at around the same time. Consequently, I’ve found that I regularly pass the same people. Maybe not everyday, but usually I’ll see a few “regulars” once or twice a week. You have to realize this about Jackson-there are a lot of 1)Smokers and 2)Overweight people that live in the city. A LOT. So, I’ll pass these regulars and think to myself (no joke): Ahh, still smoking, I see? Maybe if you didn’t smoke you’d be better able to exercise and hence wouldn’t be overweight. Then I say to myself: Gosh, you’re nice. You don’t know why that person is overweight-maybe they have something innocent like a thyroid problem or a genetic propensity to obesity. To which I’ll respond to myself: Yea, but AT LEAST they could exercise rather than driving the electric chair down the sidewalk. Those are supposed to be for people who are handicapped, not people who are handicapped by their fat. Then I come back at myself with: GEEZ. WHY DO YOU CARE? YOU ARE SUPER MEAN. IF THAT PERSON WANTS TO SMOKE AND RUIN THEIR LUNGS THAT IS THEIR CHOICE. By this point, I’m like a mile past the person and wondering why I’m still thinking about them and judging them. This is a problem. This is bad. In this country you are allowed to smoke. You are allowed to be overweight. It’s the beauty of choices! So why do I care so much to judge?
In the end, I think I do it 1)because I’m a sinner 2)because I actually do care about the health of others and 3)because it makes me sad to see people making bad choices for themselves. Not taking care of your body, whether by smoking or by making poor food choices, is a bad decision. There-I said it. I take care of myself because I value my life, I love being an active person, and I want to live to a ripe old age to enjoy every moment I can with my husband and my daughter. So, really, when people make these bad decisions in how they take care of themselves they are not only effecting themselves. They are robbing their family of time and quality life together.
Nevertheless, the judge-ness needs to stop. Jesus, please help me to see people as you see them. Because when I look at them all I see are people who are making really bad choices. See, the whole plank-in-your-eye, speck-in-your-neighbor’s-eye principle is at work here. I don’t always make stellar decisions either.