I have really been struggling with one person in particular lately. Some of the struggles have come about due to emails. Why does so and so have to be so direct, sarcastic, rude, etc.?
When speaking to a friend recently I found myself apologizing for an email that could have come across the very same way! She gave me a piece of advice that I found very helpful. She said that whenever she opens up an email to read it, she tries to think happy. So often the way we read a message depends on our mood at that moment, so if we try to read others’ messages with an upbeat spirit, it may help us to avoid many misunderstandings.
Ultimately, if I assume someone is writing a certain way without proof, I am judging them. Was I there when they were typing? No. Did I hear them speak the words out loud? No. Do I know what frame of mind they were in when they wrote the message? No. Since that is the case, I should always give them the benefit of the doubt and not assume the worst.
In today’s First Reading, Moses encourages the people to observe the statutes and decrees of God with all of our heart and soul. “And today the LORD is making this agreement with you: you are to be a people peculiarly his own, as he promised you; and provided you keep all his commandments, he will then raise you high in praise and renown and glory above all other nations he has made, and you will be a people sacred to the LORD, your God.”
What an incredible promise! To be God’s special people, to belong to Him as His own, to be raised up high as a people sacred to the Lord… But what is the caveat? That we follow His commands. If I judge people’s intentions, I am not following His commands. Boy, do I want to partake in that promise, so from now on I pledge to think happy thoughts!
Jesus takes it one step further in the Gospel saying: “love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father.” Now the person I am referring to is far from my enemy, but I have to be careful. If I pile one offense upon another, they could easily become like one in my heart.
As we continue our Lenten journey, let us continue to examine our hearts and purify our minds so that we too may rejoice in the words of the Psalmist: “Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!”
Tami Urcia grew up in Western Michigan, a middle child in a large Catholic family. She spent early young adulthood as a missionary in Mexico, studying theology and philosophy, then worked and traveled extensively before finishing her Bachelor’s Degree in Western Kentucky. She loves tackling projects, finding fun ways to keep her little ones occupied, quiet conversation with the hubby and finding unique ways to love. She works at her parish, is a guest blogger on CatholicMom.com and BlessedIsShe.net, runs her own blog at https://togetherandalways.wordpress.com and has been doing Spanish translations on the side for over 20 years.
Feature Image Credit: Jackson David, https://unsplash.com/photos/cIcBInoyb7U