Monday, February 28, 2011

Sunday thoughts on Monday

Yesterday our sacrament meeting theme was charity, specifically President Monson's talk Charity Never Faileth from the last Relief Society broadcast. It struck me when I first heard it, and it was good to hear about it again. He really emphasizes not judging others in this talk, and as I listened to the speakers, I was mentally reviewing. I decided I was doing pretty well with not judging.

That was during sacrament meeting.

Fast forward to our bishop's youth discussion last night, where I was struck with a blow – I realized that I was not doing so well with not judging after all.

The bishop had invited a young-ish couple to speak to us. As soon as I saw them sitting there, the judgments started pouring out (only in my mind, thankfully, but still):

They are young and wealthy.
I wonder how they got so much money?

Their kids are always wearing new, cute clothes.
She always looks perfect.

How does she stay so thin?
She's kind of standoffish.

Then the bishop announced that he had asked them to talk about the importance of material things. Come again? I was squirming a bit.

She went on to tell us about the struggles they have been confronting during the last couple of years. He was a successful entrepreneur (ah, that's how they got all that money), but when the economy tanked he had to close down his business. They decided they would rather try to pay their creditors than declare bankruptcy. His employees were at least able to collect unemployment, but as the business owner, he had no such recourse.

She decided to sell whatever she could on eBay or in order to generate some income. She sold the art she had been collecting for years. She sold their TVs, DVD players, furniture, clothing, anything that was not a permanent fixture. He would come home, look in his closet, and say, "hey, what happened to...?" and she would reply, "Well, you didn't wear it last week, so I sold it!"

She told us with tears in her eyes that as hard as it was to see all of their possessions going out the door, she was so very thankful that she learned what was truly essential to her: the relationships she has with her family. Now that their financial outlook is getting brighter, she said she is holding tightly to the lessons she learned during this long, difficult struggle and knows what it means to be thankful for trials.

He talked a bit about learning the value of money, putting in an honest day's work, and learning to live within your means. He challenged the youth to save towards their missions and education.

I feel like I was served, yet again, a big slice of humble pie.

It just goes to show me that everyone has their struggles, even when they are not visible to others. I have no right to be judging people, for any reason.

How I wish I could learn this lesson, once and for all!

p.s. For family home evening tonight, we talked about money management: the importance of paying tithing first, and we implemented a plan for the kids to put aside savings for missions/education. I passed out allowance for the month and they divvied up their money in different envelopes. (Eva was excited to join the ranks.)


Neighbor Jane Payne said...

Ohhhhhhhh, I'm so glad you honestly shared this. What a great Sunday thought for Monday. I'll remember this story for a long time. Thank you Michelle.

patsy said...

Oh this is really good stuff.
Why do we have to learn lessons over & over??? I DO!!

Miranda said...

Thank you for reminding us all again of this important lesson. You're of course not the only one who needs to be reminded over and over. That's probably why we have to go to church every single week. :)

Charlotte said...

Hmmm. I'm pretty sure I can work on this myself. It's funny, because when I catch myself judging, I realize that I don't like how it makes me feel. So why then do I persist in falling into that cycle?! Thanks for your thoughts—that gave me lots to think about.

jt said...

Um, exactly Charlotte. 'We're not happy when we're judging', sound familiar? I not that in myself as well. And I notice that I am really good at not judging those who have hardships I can relate to, but not so good towards those that seem to have the things I struggle with, like money and beauty.

crystal said...

Whenever I am judgmental, it stems from my own insecurities, of which I have many. (many!) (too many)

Probably that is the root of everyone's judgments toward others. Which makes it very difficult NOT to be judgmental because we all have insecurities. Having an open, non-conditional loving attitude takes constant care, I think. It's hard!

Susan said...

I love this also. Thank you. It really brought the teachings of my mother to my mind. She was very good at not judging, and even strove to stop making "comments" about poor style. I've tried to follow her admonitions,but I have a long way to go.

I always love your Sunday Thoughts.
Even on Monday!(But, it's Sunday again for me...)

Claudissima said...

gosh, this makes me think in my situation if i had done all i can to help us out....and even though I am not attached to stuff, i can see that we can still LET GO of stuff even when we think we have done so.....thank you!

Jill said...

Oh humble pie, why must you be served so regularly?

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