There is a little bit of bad in all of us. In some people there is a lot. You don’t need to do too much research to find someone behaving badly. Just read the comments under a Mama Mia blog post. Or turn on the news to hear of unspeakable murders, wars that may never peacefully reconcile and celebrities hunting endangered animals for fun.
But there is no evil in me you say. I say the same too, until…
I yell at my daughter when she ignores my third call to get her butt to me so I can do her hair for kindy. I blame sleep deprivation for my impatience.
Or the toddler who decides it’s fun to spit out their juice all over the house creating a wet, sticky mess on a freshly washed floor. I blame the sister for encouraging it.
And if it’s not my kids bringing into light my badness, it’s social media. I have participated in the comparison game. Sad when a blogger has more likes than me, but triumphant when another blogger does not. Thankfully I stopped that earlier on when I started my blog and realized that blogging is not a popularity contest. But I’m sure I’m not the only one that has been sucked into that pride feeding game. Can anyone relate?
Our badness comes to light through our anger, jealousy and weakness.
There is a little bit of bad in all of us.
The difference between my bad and that of someone else is this: Mine is done in the secrecy of my head or in my home. Other’s badness goes viral online because they have been caught doing wrong and we shake our heads or write blogposts about how disgusted we are in what we have seen.
Ever made a mistake? Like a really bad mistake and been humiliated by it? It’s awful and the judgment by others is a heavy burden to brunt.
I make mistakes all the time. Becoming a parent has brought out the best and worst in me. But I want to be different and by grace I have been called to be different. A few moments after I’ve lost the plot with my kids, I grab them and hug them and apologise for going crazy. I pray to do better. How many parents do this after losing the plot with their kids?
The best way to defeat badness is not to participate in it. But if we all have a bit of badness in us, this may not be as successful as we intend.
So what else can we do?
Practice compassion and grace. If you need a lesson on this, read a Bible and see how Jesus reacted to the badness in His time. He extended grace to the dodgy tax collector, an adulteress who should have been stoned to death and lepers who were ostracized from society because they supposedly earned their wounds.
Jesus may not be physically here on earth, but by God’s grace we can extend his compassion by seeing the best in people despite their shortcomings. By understanding when someone falls from grace.
I get disappointed by celebrities, blogs and even friends and family who let out a bad side I didn’t see coming. But I also disappoint myself the moment I let my bad streak reign. We need less hate. Less judgment. Some of us should know better, but some of us haven’t been blessed with a good upbringing and no one can understand the pressures of one’s environment. It can do strange things to the heart and mind.
While badness manifests itself into a downward spiral of hate, love always protects and multiplies into understanding and compassion.
We need more love and less hate.
So the next time you are disappointed with someone, extend grace. You can be disappointed, but refuse to do what 90% of the world would do. Extend grace.
Whoever has not done wrong can cast the first stone.
Have you noticed badness in yourself? Others? I’d love to hear your thoughts.