Friday, November 10, 2006

Let's not judge Christians

I know my post a few days ago brought up a lot of anger within people. I'm angry too, as you well know. I'm angry at the ignorance. I'm angry at the unwillingness in people to learn to understand. But I think there is a great danger when we become angry at what people are, rather than what they do (or do not do). We have to be careful not to return others' judgemental attitudes with judgemental attitudes of our own. We still have to try to love.

I have a couple of close family members who are Christian and are judgmental. They are especially judgmental of things they don't understand - things they have not bothered to learn about. They go to church, hear sermons, read their Bibles, and pray. Yet they seem to miss the point of a lot they're taking in. I love them, yet am frustrated by them. I try to overlook where they fall short, hard as it is. But all I can do is try - little by little - to educate them. They seem to be able to take things in by only very small portions. Most of all, I know the best I can do is to teach by example.

I love these members of my family, but I don't love what they do or the way they think. It happens that they're not as educated as they should have been. Much of what they've become is because of the lack of opportunities they've had. They haven't learned to think more broadly. So I just try to understand where they're coming from.

When a person doesn't understand the truth about mood disorders, we have to make it our job to teach them, little by little. It's hard for those who've never experienced it to understand. We need to be sensitive to the needs of others who want to - but find it hard to - learn what goes on within us.

So yeah, I get hugely angry - enough to be devoting a good part of my life to educate people. But I've learned that it's the injustice of stigma and the hurt the stigma causes that I'm angry at - not the individuals who are causing it. (If they knew what they were doing, I don't think they'd be doing it.) If I'm going to help make changes, I have to continue to love those who I want to change. If they're going to listen to me they need to know that I'm not speaking out of hatred.

3 comments:

Dream Writer said...

I've come to learn in my life that it is not "Always" my job to teach everyone, it is not my job to guide everyone, it is not my job to show everyone the way - it is THEIR JOB to help themselves, it is their job to guide themselves, it is their job to educate themselves, it is their job help themselves, and it is their job to admit to themselves about whatever it is that they need to admit to themselves what is wrong or whatever the issue is.

It is just too exhausting for me to help others all the time.

People need to see the light themselves and they need to believe in things, trust things, get out of denial, or they have the choice to live in their own misery!

marja said...

Hi dream writer: You sound passionate - as I am passionate. But the thing is, it makes me miserable to see things that are wrong and not try to do something about it. It makes me feel worse when I don't make the effort to educate.

But maybe I'm wrong in saying that "we" need to educate. Maybe you're right - it may not be something everyone is up to doing.

I guess I just feel kind of small trying to do this alone. Wish I could get an army of like thinkers together.

jane said...

This is something I have a very difficult time with. In my experiences it's the exception, rather than the rule, that people I know who claim to be Christians display what the bible teaches. I'm not saying I'm any better, because obviously I am judgemental towards Christians as a whole. But I don't wear a label that indicates I should be the things Christianity supposedly represents.
I feel fortunate that I have met some Christians who are loving.
Obviously, this is an issue with me that has lots of baggage from the past.
Anyways, I've written enough. :)