I recently heard Pastor Craig Groeschel, who produces a leadership podcast and is the pastor of LifeChurch.tv, say, “The place where you issue your harshest judgments often reveals your deepest weakness.”
When I heard this, it felt like a dart straight to my heart.
This quote got me, and it stuck with me. I’m going to be very transparent about this. Because I thought about that quote, and asked myself, “Where am I highly critical?”
Being critical is a pride issue. And I can tell you, it’s a big problem for me. My ego gets in the way of many things, and it’s something I need to work on. I want to give it up, so that it’s not a barrier between me and relationships with fantastic people.
One of the areas where I’m a huge critic is with my family and their nutritional choices. I believe deep down that the choices they’re making are irresponsible. They food they eat, isn’t technically food. If you look at any food item that you’re purchasing, beneath the nutritional label is always the list of ingredients. If you’re buying whole, fresh food, there’s only one ingredient and you’re looking at it. But if you’re not buying fresh food, then you have to look at those ingredients! And if a lot of them are completely unknown to you or you can’t even pronounce them, that’s because it’s not real food! So we’re putting these things into our bodies, and I believe that it’s poisoning us a little bit at a time, over and over.
And I understand that struggle; it can be addicting. And some of you may know my personal story, some may not. But I have struggled with food addiction from the age of five, and this is where that stems from.
So my reaction to my family, and their choices, and the way I treat them is very critical, condescending, and shaming.
When I heard Groeschel’s quote, I immediately knew that this was my personal issue. Because when you physically point a finger at someone, you have one of your fingers facing their direction, but you have three other fingers pointed straight back at you. And I used to be a food addict. It was my issue first, and that’s why I’m so hard on my family.
And at times, I still struggle with relapses. I now say that I’m in remission from food addiction, but there are times when I relapse. That struggle is real for me, and the relationship I have with food is sometimes very unhealthy. It’s like being in love with someone who pretends to love you back, but always hurts you.
The same goes for food and me. Depending on the food choices I make, I think that it loves me and tastes and feels so good, but then I come down from the food high and realize that the negative effects from that were just awful. So I project my own issues with food onto my family and loved ones.
But really, you can’t change others. You can’t beat other people down and just expect them to have magic epiphany moments. You don’t have that kind of power. You won’t win anyone over that way. But loving them is one way to show them that in the midst of their struggles and choices that you may not agree with, you are still there to love them and be a resource for them. And after this realization, I posted this on Facebook: “As social media as my witness, I will no longer shame, torture, ridicule or condemn my family for the food choices they make.”
So my tip to you is to sit down and think about the places where you issue your harshest judgments, and what that reveals about places of weakness for you. Then take ownership, responsibility and accountability for those weak spots and work towards improving yourself and your relationships. Together, we will consistently grow and develop!