Friday, November 30, 2007

Toward a Nonjudgmental Life

One of the hardest spiritual tasks is to live without prejudices. Sometimes we aren't even aware how deeply rooted our prejudices are. We may think that we relate to people who are different from us in color, religion, sexual orientation, or lifestyle as equals, but in concrete circumstances our spontaneous thoughts, uncensored words, and knee-jerk reactions often reveal that our prejudices are still there.

Strangers, people different from us, stir up fear, discomfort, suspicion, and hostility. They make us lose our sense of security just by being "other." Only when we fully claim that God loves us in an unconditional way and look at "those other persons" as equally loved can we begin to discover that the great variety in humanity is an expression of the immense richness of God's heart. Then the need to prejudge people can gradually disappear.
Henri Nouwen, Bread For the Journey, March 8 entry


Mark said...

Thanks for the daily bit of Nouwen. I always find him encouraging.

CrackerLilo said...

I just blogged about how perplexed I am that so many people can't seem to acknowledge difference without following it with "...and that's bad, and I need to punish them for being different." It looks like you were thinking on a similar track. This is really beautiful, and it still is a nice surprise (as someone who has seen Christianity at its ugliest) for me to see something beautiful and *against* hate from a specifically Christian source. So, thank you. :-)

Communion of Glitches said...

Very lovely. It's always surprising how often prejudice rears its ugly head among people who devote their lives to Christianity, whoih is about the ability of anyone to inherit God's kingdom.