incongruently judgemental

I am known to be a harsh critic on myself. I have high standards for my work and my life and thus my friends and family. I sometimes feel judgemental because I reflect my personal standards onto the lives on the innocent bystanders. But I know that it is because I want the best for those that I love not because I think they are awful people.

My pet critique of myself is that at times my life seems incongruent with my faith, my work, my ideals. We all struggle through this. My personal struggles aren't earth-shattering in nature. For the most part I am your average straight-laced goody-two shoes. Life is regularly boring as far as sinning is concerned. But as a growing Christian, I know that as I come in closer to Christ, I will realize how far I am from his example. No matter my struggles, their mere existence puts me at a light-year's distance from being similar to him. My life is a continually process of learning what it means to "follow him."

Knowing that I am not perfect and will never achieve Christ-like perfection, what is my role in the journey of others?
How do I support, encourage and even admonish the not-so-innocent bystanders in my life?
Does righteous judgement exist in the mouth of a sinner?
Christ calls me to love. Is it incongruent for me to exhibit this love in confrontation or judgement?


Anonymous said...

Very interesting reflection. I'm not sure if your closing questions actually invite an answer. No one else commented, which leads me to believe they are of the rhetorical nature. But if I might be so bold as to offer a response... As with all, "how to live" matters, there is a clear answer contained in the Ten Commandments. Given your interest on this particular topic and your desire to lead a Christ-like life in all that you say and do, I recommend that you re-visit the 8th commandment and Luther's Small and Large catechism explanations thereof. Rebukes, exhortations, etc. are permissible (and at times, necessary) when and if you explain things in the kindest possible way. All this boils down to the simple Scriptural mandate to speak the truth in love. Of course, this is the necessary condition for all speech--not only judgements. If you sense an incongruency in your behaviour, thoughts, or words, perhaps the missing element is kindness/love?

alaina said...

Teaching on the ten commandments on a regular basis requires the head knowledge for me. That's not my issue. I had to chuckle a bit because your comment implies that I am unkind or unloving. On many levels we are all guily of this. But even my lack of love or kindness is not where I take issue.
I am more interested in the struggle itself than the answer. Even when we speak in kindness and love, our righteous judgement can backfire pushing the one we love further into dysfunction and further from our love.
The complication is mystifying.