“I am only one, but still I am one.
I cannot do everything, but still I can do something.
And because I cannot do everything,
I will not refuse to do the something I can do.”

Edward Everett Hale

Friday, 11 January 2019

Don't Judge a Book by its Cover

This week's post is about with-holding judgement. And it applies as much to self-judgement as to judging others. The quotation, by Jeanne Moreau, says: "It's not the facade that matters, but the treasures inside."

There are some words by St Francis de Sales, which I love: "When it comes to being gentle, start with yourself. Don't get upset with your imperfections ... It's a great mistake - because it leads nowhere - to get angry because you are angry, upset at being upset, disappointed because you are disappointed ... You cannot correct a mistake by repeating it."

"You cannot correct a mistake by repeating it." Oh. How often do we pile anger on top of anger, upset on top of upset, and disappointment on top of disappointment, rather than trying to gently, rationally explore how not to repeat our mistakes? I know I do ...

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus bids us to be wary of judging others if our own copybook is less than spotless: "Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. For with the judgement you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. Why do you see the speck in your neighbour's eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your neighbour 'Let me take the speck out of your eye' while the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbour's eye."

It is only too easy for us to judge others without really knowing them. To judge them by how they look, what they say, how they act. Without knowing what is in their hearts, what their motivations are, what their life experience has been, which has led them to this point in their lives.

Let us try to look beyond the outward facade, and see the treasures within.

1 comment:

  1. Have you seen the new Mary Poppins film? There's a delightful song in it called The Cover is not the Book!