Some days, I have to work hard to keep my heart open to people around me.
I am reminded of a butterfly opening itself up as it pushes its beautiful wings back and exposing its fragile center and the warmth of its colorful wings.
Somedays, I am the butterfly, pushing back my comparisons, criticisms and expectations of those around me to keep my heart open despite how vulnerable I feel. These decisions propel me forward and enable me to embrace those around me with more kindness and tolerance.
I am learning not to take things so personally. It seems the more sure and secure I become of my identity and value in Christ, the less I need to judge or define others as arrogant, insensitive or rude.
I am at peace with myself. I am good with me.
“Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.” (Leviticus 19:18)
It is my own insecurities, fears and sometimes victim mentality that creates a critical spirit in me.
We give people permission to stir and muddy the waters of God’s grace and peace in our lives by becoming angry, resentful or jealous. When that happens we are no longer in control of our emotions, they are.
Allow people to be who they are and show up with their imperfections and annoyances. They are loved unconditionally by God our Father, just as you are.
When we judge others we are not defining them but rather we are defining ourselves as needing to judge because we are insecure and fearful.
Like the butterfly, I need to move softly and gently through this broken humanity by being more tolerant and not taking things so personally.
We need to depersonalize what people say and respond with kindness. Can we be kind and forfeit our need to be right all the time?
Lysa Terkeurst, a devotional writer for Proverbs 31, said it best:
“We can sink into a cesspool of comparison competition and jealousy. Other people’s successes threaten us. Their giftedness leads to jealousy, We may even rejoice in their failures.”
When we are secure in the knowledge of God’s love for us, the waters of our emotions cannot be stirred by words or actions. Because we are overflowing with God’s grace, kindness and mercy.