Thursday, September 09, 2010

Not Until You've Walked A Mile in My Shoes

There are many people who love to run. Some like to run for relieving stress. Others like to run for exercise and being fit. Still others will run because they enjoy entering 10k’s or marathons. I personally don’t like to run. Don’t get me wrong, I like to exercise. But I prefer my running to be in the midst of playing a game like racquetball, or basketball, or baseball. It’s probably good that I don’t like to run, because ever since I hurt my back (about 25 years ago), I can’t run long distances, because the pounding of the running is too jarring for my back.

So instead of running, I do fast-paced walking (some might call it power walking). The walking gives me the exercise I need, but limits the strain put on my back. As I was thinking about our blog topic for the week, it made me realize that we are each unique in this way; we like to run, or walk, or sing, or paint… It is easy for us to judge what we like verses what others like. And if what others like isn’t what we like, then we might put them down for it.

The whole idea of judging is important for us to think about, because it is so prevalent in our world. We judge people before we even know them. We judge people because we are close to them. We judge people to make ourselves feel better. The truth is, unless we know what they are going through, we can’t accurately judge what they are doing. Unless you walk a mile in my shoes, how can you know what I am going through and why I do what I do?

And what if we did walk in the shoes of others? Wouldn’t that be better than judging them? As we are told in the Bible, Galatians 6:2, “Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Instead of judging, which brings negative consequences in life, we can assist them, and bring about a positive consequence. We are told by God not to judge (leave that up to God), but to ‘love our neighbor as ourself.’ Then maybe we can give them constructive advice. In the end, they will have to decide for themselves how they will live. So don’t judge others unless you have walked a mile in their shoes.