I’ll admit I’ve not been a happy camper this week. I’m sure many of you can guess why. Let’s just say my heart has not been brimming over with loving-kindess toward people who, in their political enthusiasm, are not always kind. The thought of four more years of enduring these people, who seem to think I am part of everything that’s wrong with the world, hasn’t been very cheering.
It got to the point that I started thinking “Gee, if they’re going to think that of me no matter what I do, I may as well be what they seem to think I am.” Yes, I’ve even been flirting with listening to conservative talk radio, heaven help me.
But that certainly wasn’t making me feel any better. In fact, it didn’t feel very good at all. But figuring out how to replace it with something better wasn’t so easy.
The answer found me. As most of you know, my church holds a general conference twice a year. I’ve got most of the talks downloaded as mp3 files to listen to while commuting too and from work. This morning I pulled up the Sunday morning session from April of this year, and the following message hit me right between the eyes. Some of you may recognize it:
This topic of judging others could actually be taught in a two-word sermon. When it comes to hating, gossiping, ignoring, ridiculing, holding grudges, or wanting to cause harm, please apply the following:
It’s that simple. We simply have to stop judging others and replace judgmental thoughts and feelings with a heart full of love for God and His children. God is our Father. We are His children. We are all brothers and sisters. I don’t know exactly how to articulate this point of not judging others with sufficient eloquence, passion, and persuasion to make it stick. I can quote scripture, I can try to expound doctrine, and I will even quote a bumper sticker I recently saw. It was attached to the back of a car whose driver appeared to be a little rough around the edges, but the words on the sticker taught an insightful lesson. It read, “Don’t judge me because I sin differently than you.”
– President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
The bottom line is there’s not much I can do about those people out there who have decided to judge me unkindly. But my path is clear. I’ve got to let it go and move on, being the nicest, kindest, most non-judgmental person I can be. Sure, I’d love if they would get this message, too. But I can’t wait around for that. I’ve got work to do.
Incidentally, if anyone is interested in the text of the entire address, it can be found in print and via video here.