After all I’d judged myself to be perfectly fine up until I started digging into the weeds.
Wandering around the house picking up after the day and turning off the lights I started praying. I’m guessing it looks like I’m a crazy person talking to myself and I’ve considered getting a blue tooth ear thingy just so when I’m driving I don’t look crazy but that’s another blog.
So I asked God what He though about all this judging. He’s super good to me and answered me promptly.
By the time I woke up this morning I couldn’t wait to share with you all what I’d learned. I had to force myself to stick to my new routine of breakfast and exercise. Which is torture because I always get great ideas and prayer time in while on my morning walk.
“So….what’s the scoop”, you’re thinking.
Did I discover that I’m in fact better than you? Did I feel the need to fall on my knees and confess for the next ten years or so?
First I felt like God got a good chuckle out of it. Told me I was ridiculous but that He delights in me just the same. I wholeheartedly agree I’m ridiculous. No arguing there.
Next I learned that judging isn’t the same as comparing. Weighing in on a matter is good. Having an opinion is healthy. That’s what most of this is.
I’ve started a new thing with the kids. I’m hoping it will be a great success but then I hope all my projects end in great success. I’ve started a game called, Good Better Best. The idea is to get the kids to understand how to evaluate themselves and the work required.
When doing the dishes, I require a good job. I have no desire to die from the plague. I’d prefer they did a better job than the sloppy mess they manage but so far they get the job done. When I do the dishes it’s a different story. I do my best. Why? Because I enjoy a clean, sparkling kitchen. So the time involved is worth the effort. My kids could care less so a good job is all they understand.
This also translates into behaviour issues. “When you get home from school what is a good choice for your time?”
“Getting your snack and doing your homework,” replies my smartypants daughter.
“Putting away your backpack and shoes,” chimes in the other kid not to be topped.
“Great. Both of those are good choices,” I heartily agree. “Now tell me a better choice”.
This took only a brief moment of consideration.
“I could do my homework on the bus, using my time wisely, grab my snack and check to see if I need to do my chores before I watch TV,” responded Katie. Oh she’s good.
Tyler added, “I could make sure I walk the dog and choose a healthy snack instead of junk food. That way Bella isn’t in the way when I sit down to do my homework. Bella is important and needs to be treated like we love her.”
Secretly I’ve always known my children are brilliant.
Really warming up to this I asked them what the best choice was. I must also add that the natural competitiveness of my children works in my favor.
After enjoy the dream of hearing all the wonderfully productive ways my children could be using their time I asked them if it was always necessary to put forth our “best”. (Darn their smarticalness) They instantly realized that “best” wasn’t always needed. In fact many times, good really is good enough. Why? Because of time. Once you add time to the equation it changes what is really, good better and best.
I’m loving this game. The kids seem to as well. It’s developing critical thinking and is going to make them wickedly good chess players once I get around to teaching them how to play. Right now I still like winning….so it might be a while.
However, you’re wondering, “Does she realize she’s completely off topic? Weren’t we talking about judging others? Surely she’s not going to tell us that we should be coming up with good better and best ways to judge others?”
Ah but I am. Judging others has categories. When you’re simply evaluating a situation it’s good. You are supposed to be aware. We’re supposed to think things through. This is good. This is how we were created.
It’s even better when you take it to the next step and apply it to your life. Take for example my random judging of my neighbors lawns. I’m weighing in on how the neighborhood is treated. I’m noticing who cares and who doesn’t. I’m also noticing who has time or needs help. This is where thinking about it becomes important. I should notice enough to see who needs help but not to the point where I’m critically deciding the weight of a persons character based on their lawn care skills. (based on lawn care skills I’m a wreck)
To take this one more step, what’s then the best way to judge this situation? I should perhaps go to my neighbor with the gorgeous lawn and ask for him to help me with advice and whatnot. Frankly I’m not even sure what I’m doing wrong most days. I also wonder what he could possibly be doing in his lawn morning after morning. The kids and I have confirmed he is NOT an international spy trying to track down dogs that poop in the night.
Yes, I’m totally judging my neighbor as crazy. Both the lawn nut and the dog poop lady. Is this the best course of action? probably not but for the most part it’s harmless.
It becomes harmful when I’m so critical of their behavior that I don’t allow them grace to be who they really are and not just who I’ve assumed them to be.
Passing judgement that is the end all be all is terrible. Being critical is the judgemental attitude that is trapping us. When we decided that all Liberals are wrong or Republicans are always religious fruitcakes. The words, all and always, are traps. Using them is not leaving room for change. This is when we end up being judgemental in a way that hurts us.
So feel free to argue with me that Kerri’s red Honda Pilot is better than mine or that Malea’s Honda minivan is far superior to both. I’ll continue to believe mine is the best but I’ll listen. I’m willing to be flexible. After all, I plan on getting a newer better car someday. Can’t lock myself in now. Flying cars are bound to come out soon.
I will continue to wander through Robin’s house smelling all her lotions so that I can go to the store and buy all the ones I like. She’d probably prefer that to having me just swipe hers. I did accidentally swipe her toothpaste at Easter and I apologize to the mirror when I guiltless use it.
I’m going to continue to evaluate and weigh all the information that crosses my path. How else will I know whether to keep something, swipe something, buy something or toss something? Judging things is part of my protective DNA.
I’ll also make sure that I stay flexible in heart and mind. After all I don’t have all the facts. It’s the only thing I’m absolutely sure of.
(Malea, that doesn’t change the fact that minivans aren’t as cool as suvs.)
And since I’m confessing I’ll probably continue to check out everyone’s pant sizes. I’m trying to decided what size my butt will look best in. It’s a random method of goal setting. I’m trying to encourange myself to exercise more and dreaming about me in the perfect pair of jeans is very motivating. This is what I’m doing if you catch me looking at everyones backside. Hm….perhaps I just made myself sound even crazier….