It happened again. It was a beautiful, sunny, perfect day. I was relaxed and at rest on the couch and having a conversation with a great friend. And it happened… again.
The conversation that morning began light and fun. But it took a subtle turn as the conversation drifted into deeper water (difficult issues about life and struggles and people). I began drifting into an all too familiar self-righteousness, a “Holier than thou” way of thinking.
You’ve seen this happen… some people make it sound better, calling it a “soapbox”. It usually occurs when someone feels like they have a certain thing “figured out”, nailed, are living it well, and so they begin to “tell it like it is.” Unaware, intentionally or not, they begin to look down on and minimize those who don’t have it figured out, who aren’t living it as well, who aren’t doing it ‘right’.
I get like this sometimes. I boil down complex issues to a single sentence, a simple tip, technique, or bit of advice. “If they had only done x, y, and z. this wouldn’t have happened!” “Don’t they know the bible says xyz about that?!” “They are just messed up.” “They brought it upon themselves!” “All you gotta do is…” And on it goes.
I might have gone along unaware of myself and my impact, until when, with feet planted firmly on my soapbox from which I’m expertly diagnosing and solving yet another of the world’s problems, I’m stopped dead in my tracks — utterly halted by a simple, loving act.
A Mirror. My friend held up a mirror. And in it I saw a glimpse of the fruit that is my life.
My life wasn’t bearing the fruit I hoped it would. Continue reading