Last Friday I spent the day moderating comments on my guest post at Michael Hyatt's blog, and it was a great day. Comments poured in, not only on his blog, but on mine, as well as on Twitter and Facebook. Nearly all the comments were positive, except one. One woman expressed her disappointment on my Facebook page, "I do have to say tho (sic), that I am a little disappointed that you described yourself as a writer, speaker and then a mom and wife. I think the latter two are more impressive and exciting."
In the past, when I allowed my sense of worth to come from other people's opinions, this one comment would have crushed me. But now, I was able to gently respond to her and let it go, for one simple reason. She doesn't even know me.
She doesn't know that my husband and I worked together creating my Disqus bio tag line, "Christian: Writer, Speaker, Wife, Mom, Leader." She doesn't know that I've been married 15 years and this past year of marriage has been our best ever. She doesn't know from the time I was a little girl all I ever wanted to be is a mom. She doesn't know the years that I battled infertility, the pain, the disappointment and the financial cost. And she doesn't know that I have been a stay home mom for 12 years, every moment precious to me. Yet, she felt entitled to inform me of her disappointment in the order that I placed 5 descriptive words (in no particular order) about myself.
I have noticed this sad trend on the way we judge each other in the media. Last June, my sister experienced the tragedy of the accidental death of an infant in her home. Devastation does not come close to describing what she went through. Yet people felt free to put heinous comments about her family in the comments section on media reports.
A local boy in my community was paralyzed by striking his head on a rock as he dove into the river. Someone commented on the media news page he must have been drunk to do something so stupid. His life is changed forever, and that comment (a lie) is just another crushing blow.
Just read any news story that allows comments and you will be disgusted by the sometimes vicious, and always judgmental, way people attack those already down. Why do we do that? What do we judge other's situations so harshly? Why don't we show grace, especially when we have no first hand knowledge?
The Bible is clear that the measure by which we judge is the measure we will be judged by. Judge not, lest you be judged. This isn't an excuse to ignore the sins of others. We are to speak to our friends, in private. We are to speak the truth, in love.
The comments I've been reading lately in the media are not spoken in love, but in hatred. This practice has become so common place that the word "Haters" has been coined to describe people who do it.
I don't know the solution. But I do know, that my new goal is to assume the best about people, giving them the gift of Grace, with the help of God. No one is perfect. Especially me.
Have you ever judged someone harshly, or left a negative comment? How do you feel about that now?