Friday, January 13, 2006

Patronizing and Judging

"Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."
Luke 6:36-38

I suppose I shouldn't let these statements bother me... but they do...

Well, if I only had two kids I would have lots of time to do all that you do...

You don't understand what it's like. YOU don't work.

Many people with your lack of life experience think that.

I can't believe anyone would be so _________________ (fill in adjective) that they would vote to _______________. (fill in political issue)

The more these comments get to me, (and, truthfully, the more I formulate snappy comebacks to them in my head!) the more I realize that it is not just a lack of understanding each other. It is a predetermined opinion about someone, based on assumptions, not really listening to each other. Yes, I am including myself in the equation here, because my annoyance at other's assumptions about me (or my children, or what I 'do' all day!) contributes to the problem.

For instance, a friend recently told me that she "didn't have time" to keep her house as neat as I keep mine. (And trust me - the dust bunnies population is growing just fine here!) It was a judgment that she was busy, and I had all this free time to houseclean. Actually, we both have projects and hobbies we would rather do than clean house. I'd rather write. Or read. Or cross-stitch. She'd rather watch TV. Or go to the gym. Or quilt. Both of us put our priorities for the use of our time in different places than perhaps where it could be more visibly seen. We have the same 24 hours every day. We just don't get the maximum use of those hours.

But I'm still left with this dilemma, or misunderstanding, or miscommunication. Call it what you will, it means that we have not made the transition from judging (or prejudice) to mercy.

I will keep working on this... How about you?

From our home to yours...

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