There is so much conflict in the world, so much mis-trust, and we who are quick to judge sometimes give into our superior attitudes and opinions. Our judgement of others is far too easy and readily available, free and effortless, but more often than not, laced with anger and frustration. Faithful informed accompaniment on the other hand takes time, preparation, even research, patience and practice. It is a much more responsible and joyful approach to living the Gospel message.
Is it effective to get in someone’s face and angrily tell them what they should do or believe? Is it more effective to listen to someone, gently seek to understand their reasons and joyfully guide them to see alternative possibilities?
In the Sermon on the Mount, Christ said, “Judge not and you shall not be judged.” Jesus asks us to be discerning and not condemning. He also asks us to live as God’s children with simple joy in the service and active accompaniment of others.
In the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, author Steven Covey lists the 5th habit; “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”
St. Paul gives a command to the Christians at Philippi: “Rejoice in the Lord always. I shall say it again: rejoice.” (Phil. 4:4)
As a faithful, joyful accompanist, we need few words, a willing heart, an open mind and large ears. Joy demonstrates to others that we have found the pearl of great price and nothing can take this away from us. We are called to be a joyful, living expression of faith…rather than being quick to judge others for their actions or ideas; we accompany them with gentle and joyful guidance. Joy is ultimately a more attractive way to win someone over.
My Mom used to say, “If you don’t have something good to say, then don’t say it.” If only we all could follow mom’s advice, judgement would not be much less of an issue.
If we are not part of the solution, we are part of the problem, so we joyfully “preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary, use words.”
Suggested Reading: The Art of Accompaniment by Bill Huebsch (23rd Publications)