There is a part of me that wants so badly to model herself after Jesus completely, to have his heart, to have this immense capacity to forgive, to love, to be gentle with the people who are harsh and unloving towards me. I want this so badly, and yet, I face myself - everyday - in the mirror and see the ways I fail in these departments over and over and over and over again. Especially in the judgement section.
And I have begun to recognize that my harshest judgements and criticisms of others largely come from the fears and insecurities I have within myself.
Appearance is a great example.
How often do we see someone with a different body type than us and immediately find a reason to cast judgement on them?
Are they thinner than us? They must be snobs that spend all their time and money on organic food and exercising at the gym.
Are they fatter than us? They must be lazy and eating too much candy.
This is our judgement. But in reality, when we search deep within ourselves, we find that it is rather us with the problem - we are terrified and fearful of being judged by the people around us because of our appearance. Which is why there is this constant quest for consumerism and fashion, for fitting in, or losing weight, or being perfectly toned.
We are insecure in our bodies, and unable to accept others for being exactly who they are. Which is all they need. All we need.
And so, when I get angry, I need to ask myself why I am angry. Is it actually their comment or their attitude, or is it something in myself that causes me to react in the way I am?
I remain responsible for however I respond, but being aware of what's causing me to want to respond in a certain way can help me address that insecurity and fill it in another way. If we want to love others better, we need to feel secure in ourselves.
And perhaps that comes first from being fully aware of our acceptance in Christ.
But that's another conversation.