Saturday, June 11, 2016

Does it Truly Matter?

By Lacey Gunter

We live in a judgement heavy culture. The rise of the internet and social media has greatly contributed to this way of life. Perhaps people have been doing this for millennia, but I doubt whether people have ever been so publicly vocal and its effects have ever been so broadly reaching.

Part of this tendency to judge comes from a sheer lack of understanding and fear of something new or different. But a fair portion of the time, I think is rests in lack of respect and the desire to control.

Certainly any Bible believing Christian can read Matthew 7 and understand this behavior of judging others is wrong. But we of the LDS faith must go a step further and acknowledge that no matter how much we try to shroud this behavior as "helping others make the right choices", when we attempt to control others, we are actually following the path of the adversary.

I'm not writing this blog post to persuade others to stop judging. But, rather, to share how I am working on curbing any of my tendencies to judge others. Because living in a culture drenched in a certain behavior can sometimes lead to spillage of that behavior within the walls of our own home. It takes a lot of mopping and bailing to make sure our homes stay safe and dry.

I am helping myself master the urge to judge by asking two questions. But it takes a willingness to be truly honest with myself and the faith to recognize that once I know the answer, I need to follow what it tells me.

So what are the two questions? Well the first question is "Is this something that really matters in life?"  Perhaps it needs to be a little more nuanced than that, but the idea is does this truly have a profound effect on my ability to live a happy and healthy life here on earth or my ability to become the person I want to be in the afterlife.  And likewise, does this truly have a profound effect on this person's ability to live a happy and healthy life here on earth or their ability to become the person they want to be in the afterlife.

When I can be honest enough with myself to determine the answer to the question is no for both me and the other person, then I know I need to take the step of faith to simply let it go. When I need help, I pray for the strength to keep my mouth shut and help my mind to move on.  It's not worth it.

If the honest answer to this question is that it directly affects my abilities to live a happy and healthy life and become the person I want to be, then this is the time for action. This is the time for courage to stand up for myself and take the necessary steps to bring safety and peace again in my life.

When it gets a little trickier is if the honest answer to the question is that it doesn't affect me directly, but it will probably affect the other person's abilities to live a happy and healthy life and become the person they want to be. This is when I ask myself the second questions, "Is it within my sphere of responsibility to help this person change their beliefs, actions or behavior?"

Is it truly my responsibility to point out the error of someone else's ways? When people are in imminent danger or serious harm, I believe this is a yes. And, as a mother, it is my responsibility to teach and inform my children of the potential consequences of their actions. But what if it's not my children?  Am I truly enough of an expert on the subject matter to know if their ways are actually errors? Am I feeling inspired to share Godly wisdom with this person?  Will the information or opinion I share with this person help their life, or will it just serve to make them feel bad or ashamed.

When I cannot answer yes, then I must have the faith to know that God will look after his child. It is his responsibility and he will fulfill it much better than I ever could.

If I can truthfully answer these questions and act accordingly, I am much better at not judging the other person. I don't have to, because it's doesn't matter or it's not my responsibility to judge.


  1. I love this! Those are two great questions to use. :-)

  2. A couple of questions more people should ask themselves if you ask me.



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