“…the disciples were finding fault with each other because they had forgotten to bring bread.”*
Jesus’ followers were crossing a large lake when they realized they had no lunch. So they started pointing fingers to assign blame. No matter they had just witnessed Jesus multiply a few fish and loaves to feed thousands.
There is nothing noble about finding fault in others. In fact, it’s likely the most common thing we do as humans.
Of course there are faults in others! Da! We all have areas we can’t see—thoughts and actions we are blind to. (See article Know Thyself) So there’s nothing special about our ability to see them in others.
There are faults in us too, for which we either feel guilty, choose to ignore or simply justify.
But finding fault is a barrier to experiencing successful relationships. We want connections with others. We need those connections. And yet, as Richard Rohr points out, “Humans make hard and impossible the very things we most want.”**
We are driven by a need to criticize others. As Rohr wrote, we seem to have a need to fear and to hate.
Oh, if we would just let things go more often.
We all have stuff to be anxious about. But where do we focus that anxiousness? Do we get a twisted sense of happiness by finding fault in others? Do you return the hate, dysfunction and shit that is thrown your way (or that you perceive, even if it’s not actually there)?
Rohr continued: “Conscious love is the totally enlightened, and often entirely nonsensical way out of this universal pattern. Love has to be worked toward, received, and enjoyed, first of all, by facing our preference for fear and hate. But remember, we gather around the negative space quickly, while we “fall into” love rather slowly, and only with lots of practice at falling.
“This is what Jesus did: he hung on the cross and did not return the negative energy directed at him. He held it inside and made it into something much better. That is how he “took away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). He refused to pass it on! He absorbs evil until it becomes resurrection! That’s how Jesus takes away the sin of the world.”
So next time you’re confronted with the temptation to find fault, consider your options. Can you let it go? Can you admit that we all see and do things differently? Will you consider how to respond both inside your own thoughts and outside by what you communicate to the other?
Being “right” and being loving are often mutually exclusive. By being loving, you can unalterably affect the little piece of the world you touch.
* Mark 8:16 The Message (version of the Bible)
* From Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditation, July 14, 2014.
Royalty-free image by Ahmed Al-Shukaili; retrieved from http://www.freeimages.com/photo/642260