It is easy to judge other people. Judgmentalism and blame come naturally to us. Other people's faults and failures are not difficult to identify. Many of us can remember a time in our lives when throwing the first stone was not just easy - it was what we thought good Christians were supposed to do.
One of the most dramatic changes which takes place early in the recovery process is an increase in self-awareness. We begin to see patterns in our own lives that need changing. We see our own self destructive tendencies. We see how we have brought pain to others. As these insights dawn on us, we begin to lay down our stones.
Of course, as our self-awareness increases, many of us attempt to refocus the blame and judgmentalism from others onto ourselves. We can blame and judge ourselves as ruthlessly as we may once have blamed and judged others. But it's not really progress in recovery to give up throwing stones. . and then start banging our heads against a stone wall.
Judgmentalism and blame are not helpful in recovery. What makes recovery possible is when increased self-awareness leads to an increased capacity to experience forgiveness. Gradually we learn to accept forgiveness from God and others. We receive mercy. As a result, we begin to treat ourselves and others with mercy.
It is increased self-awareness and the humility which self-awareness makes possible that are the soil in which true community can grow. When we accept ourselves as humans even though we struggle and sometimes fail, we can become far more gentle with ourselves and with others.
Lord, you know how quick I have been to throw stones.
Thank you for the self awareness that has allowed me to see more clearly that
I am not without sin.
I know that I am in need of forgiveness.
Give me the courage to accept your forgiveness and mercy
and in this way begin to live in true community
Copyright Dale and Juanita Ryan
National Association for Christian Recovery