Okay, I know that it is not helpful to talk about not doing something. How do you do a don’t? Since we are told by Jesus, “judge not lest you be judged,” it seems like something I would want to figure out.
I think judging means thinking that for sure I know a person’s motives. Also, there is an element of separation. Usually if I judge someone, I’m not focusing on wanting the best for them. Instead, I am wondering how I can keep them from doing something I don’t like.
Although there is a time for protective use of force where I draw clear boundaries or help others draw boundaries. Juries help judges decide if a serial killer is guilty. Laws determine that the guilty serial killer will stay in prison, probably for life. I am for restorative justice, not for killing people if they kill others. This all is a long writing in itself.
So back to this thing of judging. When I find myself having uncomfortable feelings or negative thoughts about what someone is doing or saying, here is what I want to do consistently. Here is an example:
Yesterday I listened to Christian radio as I often do. There is a lot of wisdom shared. But there are also words and concepts shared that I disagree with.
An evangelist was speaking at a large crusade. He was telling the audience that the only way they were going to be able to go to heaven was by accepting Jesus as their savior. He spoke for about five minutes about how Jesus was the only way, and how it was a good idea for them to stand up and accept Jesus right then and there, because tomorrow might be too late. Tomorrow they might die and then they would go to hell.
I felt uncomfortable about the way that this preacher was speaking for a number of reasons:
1. My experience of the Bible tells me that he was taking words out of context and arranging them in ways that he spoke words that were not Jesus intention.
2. He was pressuring them to make a decision based on emotions and fear, not because of true knowledge on their part. Kind of reminds me of a lot of networking promotions–get in on the momentum now, because later you won’t be able to make as much money.
Yet I can have compassion for this man–rather than judging him– for the following reasons:
1. I think he sincerely believed the words he was speaking, and had a clear need for people to want to choose to go to heaven.
2. From the way he spoke, I heard a deep concern and caring for his audience.
3. He wasn’t trying to persuade people to go to his own church, or even go to church–he was wanting people to have a personal relationship with Jesus. I have been greatly blessed because people inspired me to have a personal relationship with Jesus, and so I can see great benefit in what he is doing.
If I prioritized my time to have a dialogue with this minister, I would love to share my observations and feelings, and invite him to express his view point. I would love to hear his heartfelt testimony, and listen emphatically as he explained what motivates him to do what he does.
I would hope that both of us might have more knowledge of how it is to truly get to heaven. I think heaven is in the present moment when I am in a state of being which vibrates agape unconditional love. I wonder if he might understand that may have been what Jesus meant when he said, “the kingdom of God is at hand,” and “the kingdom of God is within.” Seems like heaven is the kingdom of God, doesn’t it?
I dream of building bridges between all the different belief systems so that we can understand each other and work towards common goals such as helping all to have enough to eat, and finding ways to encourage peace, and helping parents to nurture their children rather than abuse them. There are definitely things most people agree on. I pray with all my heart that I find someone to financially support me in creating a training center for Community Organizers who serve as bridge builders in neighborhoods so that all the different people with differing viewpoints can come together cooperatively.
Right now I choose to focus on working for money, doing cleaning, organizing, gardening, personal assistant work and even an upcoming recording project. I want to support my family so that we can all thrive. I also want to spend time with my family and support my children and partner in realizing their beautiful goals. Too often I have tried to save the whole world and lost my soul because I didn’t stay connected to my partner and children who are a source of great comfort, inspiration and fun for me.
Yet I take time to do this writing so that I can continue to process this revelation I had a week ago about living in Agape love. And I feel so grateful that I continue to experience a peace that passes all understanding as I see with Agape eyes and hear with Agape ears that everyone is just asking for love and offering love, as well as seeing things through different lenses.People have had different experiences, including terribly painful childhoods that inspire them to see the world in ways that lead to hurtful actions.
I pray that I will be a bridge builder in this world, and that in my life time I will see the kingdom of God here on the earth as more and more people learn how to get their needs met through such methods as Nonviolent Communication and going deep into the teachings of Jesus.
Your words telling me how this article affected you are most appreciated, and help me to be more effective in sharing my gifts. Thanks!