Welcome to “Athlos” a weekly Wednesday blog which examines pillars of personal excellence and regularly brings together the worlds of spirituality and sport.
“Therefore you have no excuse, whoever you are, when you judge others; for in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, are doing the very same things.”-Romans 2:1
Have you ever criticized someone only to notice that you do the very thing that you complained about? I have done it too often, especially with my wife Michelle and our children. I remember having to go to her more than once to confess my hypocrisy, such as asking who left the kitchen untidy just to realize it was me.
Occasions like those are humbling. They make you acknowledge your human frailty, inconsistency and lack of objectivity. If we are honest, we begin to see that we have so many areas where we need to grow that the only proper responses to the weaknesses of others are mercy and its twin sister, grace.
In my recent post on using words with sensitivity, we looked at the concerning levels to which racism had become rooted in sport. The courageous cricketer Azeem Rafiq told of the terrible experiences he faced coming from a minority ethnicity in his sport in England. It has led to welcome introspection and reflection.
Soon after, Rafiq himself apologized publicly when it surfaced that in his teenaged years, he posted anti-Semitic messages on social media. His admissions were candid when he said in a BBC report: “I have absolutely no excuses.” The very thing he complained about, he did himself. When confronted, though, he took ownership.
Be careful, as you read this, not to judge Rafiq. The question is, are we any different? Am I quick to judge without first looking in the mirror? Do you condemn others without doing an honest self-evaluation of your own habits? One key lesson I have been learning on this journey is that I should focus first on being a great example. I must model what I want to see in others. My life must do the talking.
Let your personal example be the best poster for promoting excellence.
If you were inspired by this blog, please consider sharing it with one other person today. To learn more about these and other related themes that promote the cultivation of an integrated inner self, read UNBEATABLE! which is now available on Amazon in print and as an e-book.