There are a lot of times in life where we sit back and observe other people’s lives and make judgments based on the perspective we have. Why did she do that? Why doesn’t he do this? More often than not, our view of the situation is only a partial view. Sure, we may have “heard the story” from one of the people involved, but that’s just it, only one of the people involved. As they say, every story has two sides.
For some reason we find it very easy to jump in on other people’s lives and pass judgment, offer unsolicited advice, etc. BUT, we almost always hate when they do it to us.
Why are we prone to picking other people apart? Even worse, why do we so often do it behind their backs? It’s not constructive. It’s not healthy. And it’s not helping anyone.
Before you get concerned I’m saying this to you and not myself also, relax, I’ve been that jerk. All of the insecurities that bubble up in me from time to time, have made me look for the shortcomings in others to elude the judgment myself. Totally immature and unproductive.
Can you imagine if our position in life went from “sit back and judge (or gossip)” to “lean forward and encourage (speak life)”…what would our relationships look like? What if your goal was to build up coworkers instead of tearing them down with attitudes, accusations, etc? What if their stance towards you reflected those same “life giving” attributes. Can you imagine how much productivity in your office (or church, or sports team, etc) would go up with everyone looking for the best in each other versus picking out the worse? Encouraging the strengths in each other instead of amplifying the weaknesses.
Sure, it sounds utopian to believe we could all just flip the metaphorical switch and turn off the inherent human nature to judge and gossip, but we have to start somewhere. We seem to be getting more and more cynical as a society. When will enough be enough? When will we raise the standard back to a place of dignity and valuing others for who they are?
I want to challenge you to do this. Lean forward. Engage a stance of speaking life. I promise you, if you will begin to live out this principle on a daily basis, at work, home, church, wherever, your environment will change. You have the ability to inject life into situations and circumstances that no one else can. Don’t wait for someone else to take the high road. You map out the course for them to follow.
Written by Andrew Pino
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