How to Judge Others

That is why Christians are told not to judge others. We see only the results which a man’s choices make out of his raw material. But God does not judge him on the raw material at all, but on what he has done with it.

-CS Lewis

Judging others


For the longest I thought myself a body with a spirit. Then I realized it was the other way round. A spirit with a body am I. One will let go the other and continue on. Our bodies and brains and bents make up our raw material, as it were. Circumstances influencing all along. Our spirit the the driving force determines what our bodies do. We view others and see results of the the body, which of course result of the spirits choosing, still we do not see spirits. More, we can not presume to see all the raw materials. Who could surmise to know all the words spoken to a body: the thoughts thought about it and by it: the rearing: the mental makeup. Suppose all one body knows is hate. And the spirit fights for good and wins and results in going out of its way to open a door for another.  Now suppose another body knows all the better love and is lazy of spirit and losses.  And the loss instead of a complement to lift a day and encourage another results in the same door being opened.  A lazy spirit displeases our God and a spirit fighting for good pleases, still we know not the difference from our vantage. A door opened is a door opened. What then of us as judges? I imagine, we are not fit at all. I image further the only logical answer is to let judging to those fit to judge. The Three Persons with perfect knowing.

 

-A takeaway from Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

As always good books, takeaways, stories, and/or lessons learned on the subject are most appreciated.

Building Goodness: Simplicity

“Pleasant words are as a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and health to the bones.”

-King Solomon

Farmer Hand Touching Wheat Ears

Words build up.  Words tear down.  We create simplicity with our words.  We create drama with our words.  The things we say matter.  Each day, each interaction we have a choice to bless people with simplicity or burden them with unnecessary drag.  Our attitude is most critical to building a culture of simplicity in our community and organizations. Are you a culture builder or a culture buster?

What if at the end of a work day when you left to head home you could say “Today I persevered for my fellow, I blessed everyone with my words.  Today I built up the culture I belong to. Never tearing it down with even the slightest unnecessary burden or negativity.  I never criticized, condemned or complained”  How satisfying that day would be. How fulfilled we would feel.

 

-A takeaway from Simplify by Bill Hybels

As always good books, takeaways, stories, and/or lessons learned on the subject are most appreciated.

Contentment Brings Margin: Simplicity

“The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of sixty minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is.”

-C.S. Lewis

Creation Of Earth

I once heard a wise woman discourage the use of the word ‘bored’ in her household.  “Offensive to the creator” was her stance. How firm a foundation. Who are we to be bored with what God has given? In finances a basic understanding is to spend beneath the level provision provided. Contentment with what we are given will bring margin. We can budget time as we budget finances. We have all been allotted 24 hours a day and we all approach the future at that rate. How much progress is enough? Contentment will bring margin.  Who are we to say “this is not enough.” Enough money. Enough progress. How much is enough for you to be content? Do you yearn for self or for others? Do you toil for the perishable or for the eternal? Perhaps these are the questions of margin. To reveal what contentment you were set for.

 

-A takeaway from Simplify by Bill Hybels

As always good books, takeaways, stories, and/or lessons learned on the subject are most appreciated.

Empty to Filled: Simplicity

“What you see and what you hear depends a great deal on where you are standing. It also depends on what sort of person you are.”

-C.S. Lewis

barbed wire fence, Kansas pasture

There was a point in my life where after a long day, I regret to say, I sometimes felt emptied to a point of toxicity. I felt I had nothing left to give. This is not true of course. I was being deceived. Mistaken indeed. Other times I have equally demanding days, yet I am filled.  Ready to serve. The difference seems to be one of attitude and perspective. Resentment seems to breed toxicity and emptiness. Thinking something was not fair. Someone did not do their part. Focusing on self.

The better way, I have come to believe, is to focus on gaining perspective.  True wisdom, I believe, is seeing things as God sees things.  We tend to get glimpses from time to time.  Understanding, I believe, is obeying God’s commands. Thinking of the long-term effects instead of the short-term.  The eternal perspective providing all understanding.

Reflection seems to be a tool for gaining perspective. Anyone can look back on yesterday and say ‘I was foolish’ but who can look into the next minute and say ‘that would be foolish.’?  To say. To do. To think. Who can be so aware to notice feelings setting in?  Subtle attitudes taking hold?  Who can notice and change their course?  Reflection and pause and sensitivity are habits that make us wise.  Discipline and humility, I believe, aid in understanding.

As always good books, takeaways, stories, and/or lessons learned on the subject are most appreciated.

 

Drink of the Deep: Simplicity

God made us plain and simple but we have made ourselves very complicated.

-King Solomon

Busy retail high street 3 days after Christmas

A wet spring dusk among the shops. The kind where the lights of cars and street lights and store lights reflect on the wet ground. The rain ceased. The sidewalks busy again. A mother has conquered the shops. Plunder in elbow – hurries on a little one to come along. A man rushes past on his jog, playlist in ear. A group of young men banter back and forth as they head to the pub. Another mother hurriedly rushes around an SUV after shepherding several little ones in. Everyone late for full. On time for empty.

Deep things intrigue. Deep things fulfill. An adventure in the deep wilderness.  The superficial distract and leave empty. Once you have had a deep adventure the superficial just will not satisfy. A deep conversation of everlasting things can not be replaced by empty talk that goes no where.

What have we done to live our lives so superficially? Spending our time on things that do not last. Who can say if these people are on a deep adventure? Perhaps it is their cares that will decide. Are they focused on the distant past and distant future or on the everlasting and now? Planning and wanting for themselves or responding and serving others?

 

-A takeaway from Intimacy with the Almighty by Charles Swindoll

As always good books, takeaways, stories, and/or lessons learned on the subject are most appreciated.

Comparison and Jealousy

When you have drunk of it you forget forever all proprietorship in your own works.  You enjoy them just as if they were someone else’s: without pride and without modesty.

C.S. Lewis

Empty Dark Abstract Concrete Room Perspective Interior

Comparison. I am better. A deception at its core. And jealousy. They do not deserve. Both empty indeed.

To compare and say we are this or that as measured against another is an ignorant quest for happiness that we have all fallen to, I am afraid. One day it produces good feelings and the next the most horrible. At its core is a lie that we actually own something. That we or they are responsible for a good. When in truth it is all God.

We are a body. Hands and feet and eyes and ears. One day the hand is called up and it feels more useful than the foot. Tomorrow when the foot is needed — the hand feels less important. When sight is needed should the eyes count themselves better than the ears?  What then if it is dark tomorrow?

The truth is humility. Every useful thing we have is given to us anyways. As is our fellows. If you have a gift of generosity, then give generously in secret and thank God. If another has a gift, the truth is joy. It is most beautiful to see another made useful by God’s goodness.

Jealousy sets in when we do not trust the measure. We think an outcome not fair.  That the judge, the boss, the coach did not have all the information and so the decision was not correct. Unfair.

We are a body. If the head calls up the hand in combat and the foot feels a kick was needed the foot becomes jealous. Jealous and distracted. Less useful in fact. The hand and the foot and the arm and the leg answer to the head.

The truth is justice. Who is just? What is truth? I believe God is. And He will sort the deserved from the empty. We are to follow Him and that is that. He is faithful to follow and we will do well to trust in His judgement.

Comparison with jealousy is an ugly distracted and paralyzed way. How much better to be thankful, enjoy, and trust.

 

-A takeaway from The Great Divorce by C. S. Lewis

As always good books, takeaways, stories, and/or lessons learned on the subject are most appreciated.

 

 

The Law of Receptivity

It is better to give than to receive.  

-Jesus Christ

receiving

What is in it for me?  You first, then we will see.  I have come to believe that thinking of this sort is not the way of the successful.  Perhaps that is why the authors suggest it is only after we give, and give to many, and put first, and are true — that it is then time for us to consider getting.  Their fifth and last law of success:

The Law of Receptivity:

The key to effective giving is to stay open to receiving.

An interesting idea on getting: how it allows another to give. It is more blessed to give than to receive. And receiving allows the blessed phenomenon to go round. Receiving. Being sensitive to others desires to give and letting in. Much different than taking. Much different than positioning to lay hold. “Fancy meeting you here again Bob, on your route.  Why those look scrumptious. And they smell wonderful too. It is probably because I have yet to eat this week…” Not so much.

 

-A takeaway from The Go Giver by Mann and Burg

As always good books, takeaways, stories, and/or lessons learned on the subject are most appreciated.