The Message

“I don’t know what is best for others because I don’t know the lessons their Higher Power is offering them.”
Courage to Change, pg. 79

How often do I sit back and judge how someone else is living his or her life? More often than I would like to admit! The quote above stopped me in my tracks when I read it during my meditation time this morning. Who am I to judge anyone – or to think that I know what is best for the direction of their life? I am certainly not anyone’s Higher Power!

When I look back over my own life, I see that the most growth and positive change has always come from times when my life seemed to be the most traumatic, confusing, disruptive, or messy. When I was reaching bottom with my addictions, I wasn’t just causing havoc, I was being led to recovery. When I was faced with the words, “you have cancer,” I wasn’t just having to withdraw from the classes I loved, I was being challenged to put my trust in God’s plan and strengthening my relationship with Him. When my heart was broken over yet another break-up with a guy I thought was “the one,” I had no idea that the man I was going to marry was just around the corner. I wonder what judgments other people might have made about my life during those times. If other people are anything like me, I’m guessing they probably thought they knew what would have been better for me to be doing than what I was doing at the time.

The thing is this, and it’s unavoidable: human beings judge; and all human beings are faced with difficult times, unhappy circumstances, and character defects. What would be best to remember the next time the wheels of judgment start to turn in my mind about how someone else isn’t living properly is something I recently heard my favorite preacher, Andy Stanley, say: “I know a mess when I see one because I am one.” In other words, I can see the mess in your life because I have made my own mess in mine (on more than one occasion). Furthermore, since I am the mess-maker, I need to look for help in cleaning up – and that’s where my Higher Power comes in for my mess, and where your Higher Power comes in for your mess. Perhaps one day, if we are all willing to look to Higher Power for help – for ourselves and for others – instead of judging ourselves and others, our mess will become our message!


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