People love to judge others and give advice, even when they don’t have much to offer. As Jesus points out in today’s Gospel, we can be particularly prone to offering unnecessary, as well as ill-conceived advice in the spiritual or moral realm. It can seem so clear to us what needs to happen in someone’s life that it’s hard to hold back. When it comes to our own lives, we are more cautious because we see the big picture and know there is no quick and easy fix.
Only God sees the true big picture and he treats us with unending patience, grace and mercy. What a comforting truth this is! You can rest peacefully, secure in the faith that your heavenly Father has you
in the palm of his hand.
But here too is where a major challenge lies: God has every person in the palm of his hand, even the people you understand the least. This means that you can leave everyone else to his care. You don’t have to worry about changing them!
Of course, you should love the people around you and be involved in their lives. But try to do it by treating them with the same merciful, loving approach that God has. Seek to understand and empathize, not condemn and over advise.
Think of one person whom you are most tempted to judge or give advice to. Now try to isolate one conversation you have had in the last day or two when you gave in to the temptation to try to fix him or her. How could you have offered grace and love instead? Finally, watch for the next conversation, and lead with love rather than correction.