Point Up👆🏿 instead.
Whenever tempers flare and folks starting hurling insults and judgments at one another, my aunt likes to say, “When you point a finger at someone, remember that three fingers are pointing back at you.” Her point puts a pause, if not a period, in most arguments.
Her sage advice is actually a credit to the Navajo people who consider pointing the finger at someone as an overly emotional and unjustified reaction. The Navajos believe humans should first look within before, and if ever, pointing out the faults of others.
Matthew 7: 1-5 in The Passion Translation puts it this way:
“Refuse to be a critic full of bias toward others, and judgment will not be passed on you. 2 For you’ll be judged by the same standard that you’ve used to judge others. The measurement you use on them will be used on you. 3 Why would you focus on the flaw in someone else’s life and yet fail to notice the glaring flaws of your own? 4 How could you say to your friend, ‘Let me show you where you’re wrong,’ when you’re guilty of even more? 5 You’re being hypercritical and a hypocrite! First acknowledge your own ‘blind spots’ and deal with them, and then you’ll be capable of dealing with the ‘blind spot’ of your friend.”
Paraphrased in the Message Bible, the same Scripture reads:
“Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, ‘Let me wash your face for you,’ when your own face is distorted by contempt? It’s this whole traveling road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face, and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor.”
My humble suggestion is that we train ourselves to do less of what we see illustrated in the emoji below, and more with the instructions in the words above. In the simplest terms, let’s allow God to be our judge. Because when we ask the Creator to show us our frailties first, we will become better followers of Him and more pleasing to be around.
May you forever stay focused on your purpose. Sincerely,
Quote credited to James Truslow Adams, who is believed to have said it first.