Sa’di of Shiraz tells this story about himself: ‘When I was a child I was a pious boy, fervent in prayer and devotion. One night I was keeping vigil with my father, the Holy Koran on my lap. Everyone else in the room began to slumber and soon was sound asleep, so I said to my father, “None of these sleepers opens his eyes or raises his heart to say his prayers. You would think that there were all dead.” My father replied, “My beloved son, I would rather you too were asleep like them than slandering.” Anthony de Mello
“Every time you find yourself irritated or angry with someone, the one to look at is not that person but yourself. The question to ask is not, ‘What’s wrong with this person?’ but ‘What does this irritation tell me about myself?’” Anthony de Mello
“Many desert stories speak of judgment as the worst obstacle for a monk. ‘Abba Joseph said to Abba Pastor: “Tell me how I can become a monk.” The elder replied: ”If you want to have rest here in this life and also in the next, in every conflict with another say, ‘Who am I?’ and judge no one.” Kathleen Norris
“By judging others, we blind ourselves to our own evil and to the grace which others are just as entitled to as we are.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer
“A good person produces good things
from the treasury of a good heart,
and an evil person produces evil things
from the treasury of an evil heart.
What you say flows
from what is in your heart.”
Jesus in Luke 6:45
Moving From the Head to the Heart
- What is your response to the story about the Muslim father and son? Are you more like the father or the son?
- What can you do to become more like the father? Can you learn to stop and ask “What does this irritation tell me about myself?”
- If you’re more like the “slandering son”, are you aware of your “own evil?” Have you been “forgiven much?” Can you extend that grace to others like yourself who, like you, don’t deserve it?
Abba, teach me to judge no one. May my irritations with others lead me into regular self-examination, and to better self awareness.
For More: The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God and he seeks after you. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it. My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. I appreciate your interest! – Bill (Psalm 90:14)
“I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”