I am still feeling the sting from my recent words that inadvertently hurt someone because they revealed my own judgmental views of those who are “other.”
I was involved in a group discussion in which someone mentioned that divorce is an event which people want to inform others about, but it is not a celebration-worthy occasion. My well-intentioned but inconsiderate response was, “Well, unless the spouse is a *. Then, you’d be happy for the person to be escaping that relationship!” Much later in the meeting, another member of the group emotionally confessed that she is a *. I wanted to dig a hole and crawl into it! I apologized immediately for my earlier words. Fortunately, the * person was much more gracious to me than I had been to her and other *s. She insisted there was no need for an apology, but I still feel awful about what I said and the feelings my words revealed.
Because a close friend of mine has been struggling with a * spouse, I was willing to lump all *s into one bad group. Not everyone who is a * behaves the way my friend’s spouse does. It is the choice of actions, not the condition of being a * that causes problems.
I need some Jesus time so that I can let go of being judgmental of “others,” even viewing some people as “others.” There really are no “others.” All of us are “we.”
*I did not include the actual label for the group of people I refer to as * in my reflection because I did not want to trigger anything for readers. I thought, perhaps, I should explain here in a footnote. On further reflection, though, I think I should just leave it unstated. The lesson is the same, regardless of which group of people I felt superior enough to condemn. I hope the forum readers will be as forgiving of my transgression as the * in the discussion group was.