Saturday, June 6, 2009

Are We Willing to Lift Others Higher?

Why is it that some people feel better about themselves when they put others down? Why do some many of us think that everything is a competition and that either the other person has to look bad or we will? Why are so many people quick to judge another person’s actions or intentions? Unfortunately, this is not something just seen in the world, but even among people trying to be good and follow Christ. But these are so obviously things that Christ would never have done and still does not do. So many hurt feelings and broken hearts could be avoided if we just acted more like our Savior and had love for everyone, helped others bear their burdens and gave them the benefit of the doubt.

Recently, I have heard too many instances of unfortunate criticisms and judging (of others, not me) so it’s been on my mind. Here are some of my favorite quotes I have found that remind us of this. The first few come from a great talk by Marvin J. Ashton titled "The Tongue Can Be a Sharp Sword", in case you’d like to read it all. "If we could look into each other’s hearts and understand the unique challenges each of us faces, I think we would treat each other much more gently, with more love, patience, tolerance, and care."
Marvin J. Ashton, "The Tongue Can Be a Sharp Sword," Ensign, May 1992, 19

“None of us need one more person bashing or pointing out where we have failed or fallen short. Most of us are already well aware of the areas in which we are weak. What each of us does need is family, friends, employers, and brothers and sisters who support us, who have the patience to teach us, who believe in us, and who believe we’re trying to do the best we can, in spite of our weaknesses. What ever happened to giving each other the benefit of the doubt? What ever happened to hoping that another person would succeed or achieve? What ever happened to rooting for each other?

It should come as no surprise that one of the adversary’s tactics in the latter days is stirring up hatred among the children of men. He loves to see us criticize each other, make fun or take advantage of our neighbor’s known flaws, and generally pick on each other.”
Marvin J. Ashton, “The Tongue Can Be a Sharp Sword,” Ensign, May 1992, 18

"The best and most clear indicator that we are progressing spirituallyand coming unto Christ is the way we treat other people."
Marvin J. Ashton, “The Tongue Can Be a Sharp Sword,” Ensign, May 1992, 18
“[Joseph Smith] said that ‘it is natural for females to have feeling of charity’ (History of the Church, 4:605)
Knowing this, Lucifer works hard at undermining our divine gift. All too often we fall into traps he has designed that estrange us from each other. He delights when we gossip and criticize and judge, when we stew over perceived offenses or measure ourselves against each other, or when we succumb to such envy that we even begrudge each other’s successes…

How often have all of us made judgments that are equally unfair? Why can’t we resist the urge to second-guess and evaluate each other? Why do we judge everything from the way we keep house to how many children we do or do not have? Sometimes I wonder if the final judgment will be a breeze compared with what we’ve put each other through here on earth!”
Sheri Dew, No Doubt About It, 224-225

This next one has caused me to think a lot. Why are we more willing to help someone who is worse off than we are, but if we feel that they have more money or a better family situation or easier trials than we do, that we shouldn’t have to help them? I am including me in this. I heard someone once so excited to buy gifts for Christmas for a family whose father had lost his job. They picked out the individual gifts with love and care and wrapped them perfectly. Then when they went to deliver the gifts, the family opened the door and a big, new flat screen TV was on the wall and many gifts were under the tree. The giving family then felt sad that they had sacrificed for this family who actually had more than they did. Did they not do something good? Maybe all those gifts (and the TV) were from other generous people who made their Christmas special. Maybe they bought the gifts before he lost his job.

What a great way President Benson expresses this, that we should be willing to lift others even higher than ourselves if we truly have the love of Christ in our hearts.
“We can choose to humble ourselves by conquering enmity toward our brothers and sisters, esteeming them as ourselves, and lifting them as high or higher than we are.”
President Ezra Taft Benson, Beware of Pride , Ensign, May 1989, 4

2 comments:

  1. Unfortunately this is all to true. Women have silent competitions and I see it all the time in wards. It is the nature of the beast so to speak and one of those "natural man (woman)" things we need to tame.
    One of my really good friends is a great example to me. We were with a group of friends and one gal said, "hey I've got something to tell you all but don't let it go past this group". (We've all heard that line right). Before the gal said another word my friend spoke up and said, "Nope don't tell me I'll probably spill the beans because I always do". This was her way of politely saying - It's gossip and I don't want to be a part of it. I will never forget that.
    We all need to buoy each other up and not judge. Sometimes it is harder than it looks.

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  2. I just forgot to put in my first comment that this was a great post and I always enjoy the words of wisdom that I find on your blog - Thanks so much. I can tell you are a very wise woman!

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