This is far from easy to sit here and talk about, but we’re all sinners and we’re all judgmental. Right? Maybe we’re not and I’m alone in the category, but something tells me we’ve all been there and ridden on the struggle bus of comparison and judgment.
“Rather than being judgmental and critical of each other, may we have the pure love of Christ for our fellow travelers in this journey through life.” -Thomas S. Monson
The Enneagram. Have you heard of this? For the past year and a half, I’ve been learning and self-discovery is great. Well until you dive deep into your flaws. I’m a Type 2 with a 1 Wing. That’s the helper with a perfectionist wing, which is called the servant. I really thought all of this was just strange at first but y’all, it’s so on point.
There’s so much wisdom that I’ve learned through this journey and I cannot wait to keep learning, but here I sit chatting with God about some sin.
There’s no one sin that I struggle with, rather plenty daily, but today I’m working through some of the perfectionist beliefs along with the servant ones and the judgment that comes from them.
For a lot of my life, I’ve seen things black and white. There’s not much gray area. I like to follow rules, stick to plans, stay safe, and have routines. I’m guessing this is in part because of the way I deal with my anxiety, but I sometimes struggle to understand or empathize with people that live in the gray zones. This doesn’t seem horrible or very sinful in a surface look, but deep down, there’s thoughts that really are just comparison and judgmental.
- Science states that keeping kids rear-facing in car seats longer is safer.
- My thought: “Why would someone turn their kids early?”
- Truth: I don’t know the reason. I’m not them. Yes, I want them to keep their children safe, but it’s not my kids and I know that these people love their children have considered best ways to keep them safe.
- My thought: “A lot of children thrive in routines, how can people not have them?”
- Truth: MY kids thrive in routines and others can thrive without them. The kids are safe and happy and healthy, then awesome!
These are just quick judgments that are easily made in my head. I know they’re wrong. And none of them truly make sense to the world. But still, each little comment is a judgment. A comparison of someone else to myself. A comparison of myself to someone I’d love to be. Because I have these rules and standards for myself, doesn’t mean that anyone else must abide by them. That seems logical, we don’t all have to agree. The Enneagram Institute says that an unhealthy 1 can be “Highly critical both of self and others: picky, judgmental, perfectionistic. Very opinionated about everything: correcting people and badgering them to “do the right thing”—as they see it. Impatient, never satisfied with anything unless it is done according to their prescriptions. Moralizing, scolding, abrasive, and indignantly angry.” See that “as they see it” part….hi, my name is Lacey and they’re describing my sinful natures.
In these judgmental comments, they aren’t just thought about others but myself. There’s a high standard for my own morals and it’s sometimes a struggle. Like I said before, I’ve got high expectations. The helper in me loves serving others. I thrive in this. I can whip up dinner and make a gift basket to help someone. But I’m horrible at self-care. Not like I can’t shower, but I rarely just want to treat myself because I feel guilty. The real problem comes with expectations. When serving/helping others, I have expectations for acknowledgement or thanks. I sort of knew this but reading about my type helped me understand this more. I’m probably an over-thanker, so when someone doesn’t thank me for something, I might get bitter. Y’all this is ridiculous. Not everyone says thank you the same and sometimes people just forget or get busy. I know my people are appreciative, because I know them and their hearts. So the standards, expectations, comparison, and judgments rabbit hole begins.
“For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.” -James 2:13
BUT the thing is, we’re all sinners. You can’t deny that. We all struggle with something and comparison happens. Especially in this current state of the world. We try to be positive, we try to shine light in the darkness, but it’s hard. Then comes the cycle of feeling defeated and beating ourselves up and doubting our worth or calling.
In my Bible studies lately I’ve learned more and more about the disciples. The guys who hung out with Jesus, watched him suffer, chatted with Him after he rose from the dead, spread his message, and suffered mostly horrible deaths because of it. (Did you know only ONE disciple died a natural death?!? It was John, after he wrote Revelation) Anyway, these guys were sinners. They weren’t special qualified people. There was a zealot, some fishermen, a tax collector, a thief/betrayer, and some other average guys. And let’s not forget about the women that invited others into their homes to share the love of Jesus. Women were the first to learn about the resurrection. Women served and loved Jesus. Sinful women!
Do I think I will be able to stop sinning? Nope, I’m not that good. But I can have a heart/gut check when it comes to the thoughts of my mind. I know I will still have questions about things, but I can choose to use them as a comparison or judgment or I can look at it like empathy and learning about another and myself.
Even in their sins, Jesus called the disciples. He qualified them for whatever calling God had for them. So what is God calling you to? What God is qualifying you for? I have a few answers for myself and I’m sure that as time goes on, God will continue to shine light on whatever His path is for me.
I pray that we all have the wisdom to understand what He calls us to and the courage to obey!