Humility and The Truth

Mods, please move this if there is a better place for it. :slight_smile:

I’m having trouble lately and I’m hoping you wonderful people might have some helpful tips for me. I know we are to be humble and kind and merciful always…I have a special devotion to Jesus in the Divine Mercy…and yet, I find myself not exemplifying those qualities at all. I look at people around me – friends, relatives, acquaintances – and get upset because of things they do that go against what I know is The Truth (what is taught by the Church). From small things to big ones, I struggle with not looking down on others. It’s not because I’m so great (obviously I’m a huge sinner, who isn’t?) it’s just that I see the rejection of truth and it bothers me so much!

I especially have a hard time not judging people who I know have had abortions (no one extremely close to me, thankfully). I know I should pray for them and that I should forgive them (is it even my place to need to forgive them? I don’t think so, but you probably know what I’m feeling) – but I just can’t. It disgusts me and upsets me so much that I don’t know how I can let it go.

The bottom line is that I know what I should do, what I need to do, how I should conduct myself. The problem is that I don’t know how to actually do it. Instead of being merciful, I find myself being judgmental. I’m sure this upsets God, and I try not to think that way about others, but it’s tough. I know it’s by God’s mercy that I am blessed to know the truth, and then I turn around and instead of being what I should be I’m the opposite. :frowning:

How do you put humility and mercy into action?

how? belle, you may not be able to stop the knee jerk judgments, but you can challenge them with … you guessed it: TRUTH.

abortion is horrendous. but you find yourself hating the sinner AND the sin? ask yourself: what’s TRUE here? what’s true is this: some women who have had abortions are in Heaven. is GOD wrong to forgive their repentant hearts? of course not. what’s true is that you and me do not know when any person will come to repentance. but we know that the Lord will accept her when she does.

challenge all your temptations to judge with the TRUTH of God’s mercy. i have to practice this discipline many times a day. i think it doesnt stop the temptation to judge. but it DOES remedy my judgmental and terribly faulty conclusions.

Through Charity.

CCC 1827 - The practice of all the virtues is animated and inspired by charity, which “binds everything together in perfect harmony”;

Great post! :thumbsup:

Of course God forgives them when they repent…it’s that I don’t know if they’ve repented so I have a hard time, know what I mean? :blush: I know it shouldn’t matter if I know – it’s their heart and God’s forgiveness that matter – so I guess I just have to trust God and let go of my feelings.

So, in essence, give people the benefit of the doubt?

Here’s an example: a friend of my DH’s had an abortion several years ago. She and her boyfriend got engaged 4 months later, got married, and have a 3-year-old now. She’s pregnant again and due in a few months, and she keeps calling this their second. I know this is their third child, but very few people know about the aborted child. (I tried to help her when she first became pregnant – then she had the abortion and I found out when it was too late.) It upsets me so much! These people live thousands of miles away from us and we aren’t in close contact anymore, so that makes it easy for me to avoid dealing with them and dealing with my “grudge” against them. :frowning:

Every time I’m in confession I confess my inability to let things like this go. I **KNOW **mercy will be shown to me as I show it to others, so why can’t I just do it? :frowning:

The issue I believe is that we often judge people for sins that we’ve never been tempted to commit ourselves or at least have never had a strong temptation toward. To judge someone is to put them in a stereotypical box and to think you understand what they went through when you really don’t. You can’t read their heart. Ultimately, it comes down to realizing that you are capable of just as terrible of evils. Humility is untimately realizing that. Being merciful of the other usually comes out of our own sense of needed mercy, for to judge others is to judge ourselves.

My only advise is to pray for those you are judging, and to strive to be merciful to yourself for your own judgements. As God for His mercy and ultimately strive to be dependant on His grace. None of us are righteous before God. God doesn’t owe us Heaven. We all get in through His mercy. I think being judgmental is everyone’s issue, not just a rare bunch. Also realize that only you can discern if you are actually being judgmental or not. Most people attach sin with the person. As such, they think the solution to not judging others is to avoid acknowledging sin. Therefore, when sin is pointed out and affirmed, others will immediately judge you as being judgmental. They may be right or they may be wrong. But so long as everyone thinks that acknowledging sin = judgmentalism and that all those who are judgmental should be condemned, than again the whole world has condemned itself.

When I meet someone who has had an abortion, I know that some day they will have to face the raw truth that they have murdered their own child. That is a horror would not wish on anyone! But it will happen to them. That is enough make me feel extreme compassion for anyone who was fallen into that sin.

Pray that they accept the Lord’s mercy (His forgiveness) so that He can help them bear the horror of their actions when they come to this realization.

I also thank God that I have not commited the sin because were it not for His Grace I might have fallen into that trap.

This is how I bear knowing someone has had an abortion without holding a grudge.

See, that’s where I get hung up I think. I would never, never, never have an abortion. Absolutely not…and so while I know I’m capable of terrible things (there are plenty of sins in my past that I’m ashamed of and have been forgiven for through confession, thanks be to God), I see abortion as worse than anything I’ve done.

It’s strange, because I’m actually a very compassionate and kind person. I know you guys can’t know that for sure just over the internet :o but I really am…and that’s why I started this thread, because I’m struggling between compassion and anger with some of these things. :blush:

First I feel compassion just like you, then I feel frustration and anger because these people don’t seem to care that they murdered their own child! :mad: That disgust pushes in and leaves very little room for compassion and mercy. I know this is wrong but it sure is difficult to overcome. I want to be like God in His mercy, but it sure is tough.

Thanks everyone for your thoughts on this.

And what ever is wrong with that? Is it your ideal to pretend that nothing is wrong and call that “mercy?” God doesn’t do that. Murdering one’s own child, unrepented, separates a person from God for eternity. There’s no mercy if there is no repentance.

The TRUTH is that there are people who are indeed worse sinners than you are, just as there are people more virtuous than you are. It does no good at all to ignore this fact. It’s what we do with it that matters. We praise and thank God for the people who are advanced in virtue, we pray for them to continue, and we emulate their example. With the terrible sinners, we pray for their conversion, we make reparation for their sins, we offer our own help and compassion when that is appropriate in order to set them on the right path, and we take their example as a horrible warning that anyone at all can fall into sin.

Living humility involves recognizing the truth about ourselves and others, and realizing that any good in ourselves is a result of God’s grace working in us. We should be thankful and generous with that grace.


Thank you Betsy, this helps.

I’m a very impatient person and I want people to just recognize and accept the Truth that I’m blessed enough by God’s grace to know. It’s really hard when I see the rejection of it and so then it’s hard for me to forgive that rejection and the sins that go with it. You’re right though, there are far better people than I, and I would hope they see that I’m striving for holiness despite my lack of it. Perhaps keeping that in mind will help me look at others differently. :o

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