I am struck lately by the fact that the church in America has become known as a judgmental place.
It does not take long to get a sense for what the church is against.
Mainly ... the sins of "others."
I wonder what would happen if the church actually started to be "against" our own actual sins.
Ignoring the poor.
Turning away from the suffering.
The love of our own comfort.
The withholding of forgiveness.
Bitterness. Anger. Resentment.
At times, flat out hatefulness.
Trust me, I get it ...
It is far, far easier to simply focus on the sins of the people "out there."
One of my favorites, Thomas A Kempis, pushes us to stop this nonsense, and start with ourselves:
"If you attend wholly to God and to yourself, the faults that you see in others shall little move you.
Where are you when you are not present to yourself?
When you have run about and been much troubled by the deeds of others,
what does it profit you
if you have forgotten your true state?"
Attend wholly to God and to yourself ...
And let God attend wholly to others.
And you will find your heart less and less judgmental,
and more and more grateful.
And the world around you will breathe a sigh of relief ...
And so will God.