One of the first things I noticed about my life when I began to realize the loss of fear that comes through Christ was the way my perspectives were changing. This is a process that could have gone unnoticed. It's such a simple thing really; how do I see other people?
That question used to be easy. Other people weren't me, and therefore, they, while being people, were subject to judgment on all the things I deemed necessary. This should begin to tell you something about what I thought of other people, but almost as importantly, what I thought of myself.
At first glance, my vast judgment of other people might lead one to believe I was outwardly judgmental, yet inwardly self-praising. That, however, was not my experience of it. My arrogance was not based on anything I could be proud of achieving; I used it more like a defense mechanism, to protect myself from what I really thought of myself.
Strange, isn't it?
Would you believe I was even more judgmental of myself than I was of others? That was part of my slavery; slavery to performance and slavery to self. The judging of others was merely an outworking of what I was doing to myself on the inside.
But as fear departed, as the sense of failure faded, I began to see a development in compassion towards others. When I use the word compassion, I am trying to define that trait within me that makes me similar, or bonded to, other people. We share comparable experience and comparable emotions. We are comrades in commonality.
As that sense of compassion grew, the need to judge others waned. Maybe you can understand what was happening within me. I was being remade. I was becoming a person who could come to terms with my mistakes. I was learning to un-dwell on the failures of my past, failures I had analyzed into vapors.
I was literally learning to live in a new house.
Tell me today that you are gay, or that you are a drug user or a porn addict, and instead of the past frothing from my lips, you might instead find me leaning my ear toward you as I listen to what you are living. It's not so easy to judge (although I am still capable of doing it) when you realize that you aren't judged. Things just don't seem to be so evil anymore.
I guess I can't really explain what it means to be free enough to accept failure within me. Those who knew me in the past may not have known that I struggled in beating myself up for my failures, because I am not sure I ever let too many people know that. It just wasn't part of the image I wanted to portray.
But now, I don't really care who knows how hard I was on myself for failures and lack of success. The truth is, none of it matters. I am free enough to succeed, and living in this new house, I know it won't crumble if I happen to install a brick that disintegrates.