Condemnation feels good. Going off. Putting someone on blast. It makes us feel complete – even if it’s only for a moment.
Pointing out the faults and inconsistencies of others is much more fun than questioning our own motives and behaviors. Many times when we point out these areas that we see as inconsistencies we use another person’s perceived fault to excuse our own behavior. We may have a tendency to excuse unreasonable and irrational behavior on our part when we find a fault with the way someone else has recently acted.
But if you haven’t tried it in a while, condemnation is pretty fun. It gets all of the endorphins firing. We really are smart! Hey, we’re brave! We are making a difference – if people will only respond to our condemnation.
There is a ride; was-not sure-might-still be at Wild Adventures called the Boomerang. Not fun for my non-adventuresome self. Up, down, around a loop, up. Down, around a loop, up. This is what happens when we simply condemn the behaviors around us without calling into question our own choices.
Up: nervous, excited, tense.
Down: exhilaration, others were exposed and we feel justification for the tension we just felt.
Around the loop: confusion, disorientation, and maybe frustration.
As we non-millennial adults sit back judging those coming behind us for their Insta stories and Snapchat whatevers, we might should take a peek into our garages and closets to evaluate whether our choices are about approval as well. Introspection and reflection should be the words of the day. This not to excuse poor behavioral choices of any generation but to keep us off the Boomerang ride.
Condemnation goes far beyond what we see and share on Social Media. It happens in workplaces, restaurants, schools, churches, and every other place that people gather together. It shapes how we choose, and more importantly, it shapes how we treat others who choose differently than us.
Condemnation of others brings about momentary euphoria and leaves us feeling disoriented and irritable. A poet named Asaph, had a little something to say about that:
Then I realized that my heart was bitter,
and I was all torn up inside.
I was so foolish and ignorant—
I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you.
Yet I still belong to you;
you hold my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel,
leading me to a glorious destiny.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
I desire you more than anything on earth.
My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak,
but God remains the strength of my heart;
he is mine forever.