One of the British national newspapers has been asking for comments about what it means to be British. Here is a comment from a chap in Switzerland who lived in Britain for twelve years.
“Being British is about driving in a German car to an Irish pub for a Belgian beer and then travelling home, grabbing an Indian curry or a Turkish kebab on the way, to sit on Swedish furniture and watch American shows on a Japanese TV; and the most British thing of all? The suspicion of anything foreign!”
Many times, we see things the way we are rather than the way they are.
We see things through our own experiences, political views, biases, prejudices, nationalities, affiliations, and the like. But what happens when what we think we are seeing is not what we are really seeing? What happens when we look at someone through those rose colored glasses that we all tend of have?
Let me explain. A young couple moves into a new neighborhood. The next morning while they are eating breakfast, the young woman sees her neighbor hanging the wash outside. “That laundry not very clean,” she said. “She doesn’t know how to wash correctly. Perhaps she needs better laundry soap.” Every time her neighbor would hang her wash to dry, the young woman would make the same comments.
About a month later, the woman was surprised to see a nice clean wash on the line and said to her husband: “Look, she has learned how to wash correctly. I wonder who taught her this?” The husband said, “I got up early this morning and cleaned our windows.”
It’s easy to turn a molehill into a mountain when our own windows are dirty.
It’s much easier to try and change everyone else when we are the ones that need changing. The problem with dirty windows is that we can become so cynical and jaded. H. L. Mencken says, “A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for a coffin.” Most times, it ends up hurting the critic more than the critiqued.
This doesn’t mean that you throw away discernment.
However, let’s make sure that we first examine ourselves and make sure the windows of our soul are clean enough to see others clearly and non-judgmentally.
The Bible gives us wisdom on this. “To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled.” Titus 1:15. In other words, to the pure everything is pure. To the impure, everything is impure.
You see, the world is like a mirror, frown at it and it frowns at you. Smile at it and it smiles too!
Church-Community Connection is published weekly in newspapers and blogs all over the world. Most of these newspapers are local paid subscription newspapers. The goal of these 600 word articles is to build a bridge to the community through humor, wisdom and changing inaccurate mental perceptions that the community has of God, church, and Christianity. If you know of a local newspaper that you think would like these articles, please have them contact Ed Delph at our website. The articles are free of charge and Ed’s way of giving back to the community.