Last week at my small group we spent some time talking about the issues of judgment and comparison among women. All of use have found ourselves in situations where another girl was being talked about in a negative way, and we have all probably realized at some point that we were being talked about. Seriously, it’s easy to see why movies like Mean Girls are made. I’ve never thought of myself as a very judgmental person, but I left that discussion thinking about how damaging judgment is, and wanting to be more aware of my thoughts about other people, especially other women. Over the past week I have been surprised by the number of negative thoughts I am capable of thinking about other people. Most of the time this breeds from insecurity. We want to validate ourselves, so we compare ourselves, and try to find ways we are doing things well. Often times we find this validation by finding ways we would consider ourselves better than others. What may seem like a harmless or even funny comment is often the result of a both insecure and prideful heart. Who do we think we are that we are superior in any way to anyone else? And yet we continue to fall into the trap of comparison. How often have you glanced at a fellow woman, and immediately thought something negative or even condemning? I think most of us do this more than we would care to admit.
The truth is we are all making it up as we go along and doing the best we can. None of us have life figured out. We all face enough negativity from ourselves day after day. Why would we want to put more negativity into our own lives and thoughts or into someone else’s? When we think these thoughts and say these words, not only are we potentially hurting someone else, we are also bringing ourselves down. There is nothing positive to gain from these thoughts and conversations. Let’s be intentional about our words and thoughts this week. Be conscious of what or who you are talking about, and remember that every person is unique, wonderful, and loved by God. Make an effort to let your first thought about someone else be kind, compassionate, and positive. Be aware of conversations with your girlfriends, and use your words to turn them to positivity. The world will be a better place if you do.
“Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, ‘Let me wash your face for you,’ when your own face is distorted by contempt? It’s this whole traveling road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face, and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor.”
P.S. The roses on campus are so beautiful right now that I just had to take some photos of them!