There was once a woman at my church who wore "too much makeup."
Her dark eyebrow pencil, navy eyeliner and bright blue eye shadow were a high contrast to her softer features.
The general consensus was that it was harsh at best and garish at worst. I was told that someone said something to her about it--which made me cringe at the time.
But we feel like we have the right to do that, don't we? When someone is obviously not following the rules--like the proper amount of makeup to be applied--it feels like it is our job to point it out.
Because we all have opinions. Preferences. Ways we want things to be.
We are often unaware that our opinions are based on our own biases--and that applying those personal preferences to someone else as objective reality is wrong.
But let's say it wasn't. Let's say that we could tell people how we wanted them to be and they would simply become that. Think about it. Really. Would the world become suddenly amazing or would it become the Stepford Wives? In our crafting the world to our desire, we would take away diversity. We would edit out the essentia. More importantly, we would be taking a tactic that even God himself doesn't take.
Have we thought about that? That the God who runs the universe doesn't "make" people do anything?
We need to be really careful when we speak into people's lives. So much of our commentary is selfish--the result of a desire to make others into what we wish we were ourselves.
When we release control of trying to craft the world, we discover that what exists is actually pretty wonderful. By letting go of the plastic images and expectations we work to defend, we become better able to see the beauty of what is.
Of course, we can deal with people when they treat us poorly or abuse us, but we find we no longer waste energy on anything outside of what directly touches us.
There is something about surrendering the right to judge that is oddly freeing. And infinitely more healthy.