I love to collect quotes from those who are so much better with words than me. Almost without fail, the ones which speak to me are succinct, simple and yet powerful. Furthermore, most have more than one application. Such is the case of one I want to share today. It was written a long time ago by William Wadsworth Longfellow, the poet.
He once wrote, “We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done.”
Isn’t that such a penetrating thought? Consider it in the light of husband, wife and children issues. What about how it affects the supervisor and worker relationship or even friendships. But perhaps as true in any light, it says something about our spiritual journey. As a minister I keep hearing from people about what they intend to do one day all the while knowing that to their church family, the perception is what they are doing and have already done. Certainly none of us are perfect or are able to do all we wish for the Lord. Neither are we to spend our time pointing out the faults of others. However, just as importantly we must be careful across the different relationships of life not to live in the “I’ll get around to it one day” syndrome.
While outside of us is not the place to get ultimate guidance, it does help sometimes to stop and reflect on how others perceive us.
The best understanding and application of this little word of admonition from the poet of long ago is this. Work at not letting there be too much distance between what we think of ourselves and what others see in us.
Here’s wishing you a great day and approaching Christmas! I will always be glad to hear from anyone in response or with questions you may have about faith and following our Lord.