I awoke to find this daily reflection in my inbox, it occurs to me that this is an extension of sorts, of the prayer i posted last night. We can exhaust ourselves worrying about what others think of us and of our actions, and we can exhaust ourselves equally by attempts to scrutinise the behaviours and actions of others, especially those who we dislike or whom offend us. But how can a soul be open to the good things God wants to pour into it if we fill ourselves with ungodly and uncharitable thoughts about others? I certainly haven’t yet mastered being an empty vessel , but i am working on it.
“We spend an enormous amount of energy making up our minds about other people. Not a day goes by without somebody doing or saying something that evokes in us the need to form an opinion about him or her. We hear a lot, see a lot, and know a lot. The feeling that we have to sort it all out in our minds and make judgments about it can be quite oppressive.
The desert fathers said that judging others is a heavy burden, while being judged by others is a light one. Once we can let go of our need to judge others, we will experience an immense inner freedom. Once we are free from judging, we will be also free for mercy. Let’s remember Jesus’ words: “Do not judge, and you will not be judged” (Matthew 7:1).
~ Henri Nouwen