A Warrior develops kindness and reserves judgement.
I can’t remember how young I was when I first heard the phrase, “never judge a book by it’s cover.” I do know that I have learned much truth regarding this phrase.
No one likes to be judged or feel judged. As I large person, I have felt judged… “she has no self control – no will power,” “how can she do anything at that size?” I have had people say such things to my face and others, I just imagine what they are thinking.
Then I awakened. I too was passing judgement!
To “fix” me I also needed to give others the benefit of the doubt. As my eyes opened I began to see that people are not quite what they seem to be on the outside.
God does not look at appearances. He looks at the heart.
A Warrior develops the ability to see what God sees in others.
I wondered. Would I have judged Jesus by his appearance if I had lived in his time? He was a carpenter. He didn’t dress fancy; instead, he was a simple man. He didn’t live in fancy houses; instead, he was born in a barn and moved around often. He didn’t eat in the best restaurant in town; instead, he ate with the sinners and tax-collectors.
Would I judge Jesus? I would hope not!
A Warrior sees the heart.
“Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgement ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye: and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.” – Matthew 7: 1-5
I have found that the hardest “judgement” I face is allowing people to move forward. Forgiveness is tough! I am constantly working on letting go of things that are not mine. Grudges are burdens I don’t need to carry around. When I finally put them down I am able to see that the weight was never mine to carry in the first place. That is what forgiveness is all about. It is not giving permission to a person or for a wrong. It is putting down the burden of judgement that has never belonged to me.
God knows who we really are. God knows our story. God knows our heart.
A Warrior humbles herself and lives a life of holiness everyday.
A Warrior walks the walk and talks the talk.
Judging others does not define who they are; it defines who you are. We don’t really know the reasons for someone’s behavior.
Here are a few things I try to remember as work on becoming a Warrior:
- Take a breath… The truth is we are hard-wired to survive. When we see a person that might “bite” us (literally or metaphorically), we feel threatened. Fight or flight kicks in. We are unable to see the myriad of possible reasons for the other person’s behavior. We go into defensive mode. Breathe! Break free of the natural man and rise!
- Breathe again! Catch yourself before you speak or send a nasty email or a text that can complicate things and cause more harm. You can’t get words back. BREATHE. PAUSE. Look for where the other person is coming from.
- Don’t make it personal. 9 times out of 10 when someone disagrees with you, or makes life hard, it’s not about you. It’s usually about their struggle, their pain. Everybody struggles. Some people are better at hiding it than others.
- Look for the good… or as Monty Python might say, “Always look on the bright side of life.” This does take practice. As you look for the good, you will come to realize that others are just like you! We are all more alike than we are different. Others love their families… just like you do. Others want to be happy… just like you do. Others want to be free from suffering… just like you do. Most important, others make mistakes… just like you do and want the benefit of the doubt… just like you do. Even if we are more alike than different, it is important to embrace the differences. Everyone is on a different time-table. Everyone travels their own road. The Dalai Lama says, “People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they’re not on your road doesn’t mean they’ve gotten lost.”
- Look in the mirror. Sometimes we are judging others for something we do ourselves. Fix you first. Feel good about yourself first. Seems like this could solve a ton of problems from the get go.
- Give grace. Be honest. No one really wakes up in the morning and says, “I’m going to be a jerk today.” We are all doing the best we can with what we have in any given moment.
A Warrior seeks to understand.
A Warrior pauses to breathe.
A Warrior loves… even the perceived enemy.