Read Luke 7:31-35
ALSO IN SCRIPTURE
“But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me has not been in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:10a NRSV)
As a person who has a sense of humor, there are certain comedies that I consider to be an important part of my life experience. One of those comedies is Mel Brooks’ History of the World, Part 1. A part of the joke, of course, is that there actually is no “Part 2”. But what I most love about this film, is that it covers some serious events in history with levity. It is a satire on human history as we know it.
At the very beginning of the film, we come across cavemen who have learned how to build fire, who have invented the wheel, and even learned how to sing and harmonize. At one point, the narrator says that humans learned the value of fine art. As the narrator is guiding us, we see one of the cavemen painting an animal on the way. “But with the birth of the artist,” the narrator continues, “comes the afterbirth of the critic.” The camera pans up to reveal a man urinating on the painting that the caveman just took the time to create. Too much information…I know.
One of the many things I have learned in my life is that that you just simply cannot please everyone and, truth be told, that there will always be naysayers. When I weighed 306 lbs, there is no doubt that people used to judge me based on my weight and appearance. People’s perception of me was that I ate too much, that I was lazy and inactive, and I am sure there were other perceptions as well. The truth be told, I have never been a lazy or inactive person, even when I weighed that much. But still people based their opinions of me off of their perception of me. I used to get told all the time to watch what I eat and to control the portions of that I consumed every day.
When I began juicing I am sure that there were many people betting on how long I would last. I am sure that many people did not think that I would last through the fast or, if I did, that I would not keep the weight off. Since I lost all that weight and now follow a vegan lifestyle, people question whether I am getting the proper vitamins and nutrients. They question where I get my protein from. People also now percieve me to be “iron-willed” and I always hear people say that they couldn’t be vegan like me because they “love food too much.” Of course, that implies that I don’t love food very much at all, which couldn’t be further from the truth.
The point of this really isn’t about me, but about the fact that there will ALWAYS be critics and naysayers. People will think what they will think no matter how hard you try to get them to see things differently. And to be honest, we’ve all played the part of the naysayer and critic ourselves. Each one of us have been critical as much as we have been criticized.
The truth is that you don’t have anything to prove but to God…and God already knows your abilities, your capabilities, and your heart. Don’t waste your time fretting about what others think of you. Take constructive critique, use it to your benefit, and ignore nonconstructive criticism. God knows who you are, and it is important for you not to forget whose you are. Also, be mindful of when you are playing the part of the critic. Be supportive of the people around you. Give prayerful and constructive critique, but don’t give nonconstructive criticism. Trust in God. Know that you have nothing to prove and that no one has to prove anything to you either. May you ever grow in that understanding.
THOUGHT OF THE DAY
“You don’t have to prove anything to anyone but to yourself and to God.” – Katherine Ann Lattig
Lord, help me to stop seeking human approval and to learn that your approval and your grace is sufficient for me. Also, help me to be less judgmental toward others so that I may be in line with your golden rule. Amen.