‘The other person isn’t the problem… I am.’ The words kind of jumped off the page at me as I was reading Holy Desperation—a book written by Heather King. Under that heading she puts the following. Dorortheus of Gaza was a 6th century Turkish monk who wrote: “The reason for all disturbances, if we look to its roots, is that no one finds fault with himself.”
Huh? I mean come on Heather—it’s the other guys fault! Clearly! They need to stand up to their own mistake—their own sin. Why drag me into their error? Heather goes on to write: “The surest way to stop judging everyone around us is to take our own moral inventory. Looking at our resentments, secrets, and fears gives us so much material to work with we won’t have time to nose into other people’s business.”
Well, if you think about it you have to admit they are on to something. When we stop flinging mud at others, when we stop grading and judging others and take a mirror and look at ourselves we might be surprised what we are seeing.
A lot of this comes down to our own attitudes and understanding about ourselves. One time Jesus really pushed the envelope on this. A bunch of judgmental nasty men brought to him a woman caught in the act of adultery. Notice no man was brought—just a woman. In the strictest sense of the law the woman (and man) should be stoned to death. However, Jesus stood up to these bullies and asked one short but poignant question. “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.” Fast way to dispense the crowd Jesus!
And that, is something to think about.