Is it him or is it me?

I was baptised Catholic when I was a few months old and was brought up in a Catholic family.  God has always been a big part of my life, but about a few years ago, I came to know God a lot more.  Recently, my sister introduced me to an awesome iphone application called “Bible.Is“.  It is a great program that reads you the bible and comes in many languages.  I have been listening to parts of the bible every night before I sleep.  The other day, I came across these verses:

Matthew 7:1. “Do not judge, or you too will be judged”.

Matthew 7:2 2. “For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

Sometimes, I find it really hard to not judge others and need the support of my family and friends to guide me on the right path.  Recently, I found myself un-Christ-like and irritated at my husband’s friend who was in town for his friend’s wedding and who stayed with us for a week.   As our apartment is about 550 square feet (51 square meters) in size, we didn’t have any room for him except for in the lounge.  We were very hospitable and asked him to treat the place like home and make himself comfortable. But after a few days, we found that he had eaten a lot of the food in our pantry. He would be out everyday and come home after midnight on most days…usually at around 4am or 5am after having drinks or playing cards with his friends.  He spent very little time with us. When he had spare time, he would go shopping and buy a lot of brand products.

On the second day he was here, we asked him to join us for lunch and when it came time to pay, my husband took out his wallet and paid for the bill while his friend was somehow very slow in action and just thanked us instead.  Not even a false grab for his wallet. We didn’t think much of it, but on another day, I asked him if he wanted a quick bite for lunch and he agreed. When it came time to pay, he took out his wallet so I offered him my share (US$5) thinking that he wouldn’t take it as it was a small amount and that we had treated him lunch the other day – but he took it!!! Then again last night, we went to a fancy pub and ordered some platters to share – when it came time to pay, he ducked outside the restaurant to make a phone call avoiding the bill.

Although I appreciate that we could ask him for the money back, I feel disappointed that he did not even ask us how much the meals were and offer us his share.  He has not taken any initiative to treat us for a meal , or give us a token gift, or at the very least, ask us out for a drink, or lunch or dinner for letting him stay at our place!

Should I be feeling this way? Is it un-Christ-like to give and expect something in return?

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12 Responses to Is it him or is it me?

  1. gigi says:

    Everyone’s probably had this happen at some point.

    1. You’re not judging him, you’re judging his behavior. You can’t exist as a human being and not judge human behavior. Christ did this. Open to any page in the NT and you will see that he was constantly judging human behavior. There’s a difference b/w telling someone that the behavior they are doing is unacceptable to you and telling that person they are worthless. You can’t take those two verses and say that the bible says not to judge. It says a lot of verses that contradict that. You have to take it as a whole and decide for yourself what that means.

    2. Prepare yourself. If he’s still at your home, explain your boundaries politely. Would be good to do this with your husband.

    3. Come up with a date when he needs to leave -if that works for you.

    Good Luck 😉

  2. ACW says:

    Hi Gigi, thanks for the helpful comment!

    1. I think you have a very valid point – that I have to take the bible as a whole and decide for myself what it means, rather than to look at just two verses. When is it that someone judges the person vs their behaviour? It seems so difficult to separate between the two?

    2. About setting my boundaries – I think that’s something I need to learn as a person. I always seem to be trying to please other people and end up not showing where my boundaries are. It happens a lot and I end up getting upset when other people cross the line. Let me know if you have any useful tips.

    3. He has already left, but he has told us that he will be back in town on another 3 occasions later this year. I’m not sure if we want to welcome him back anymore….? Or maybe we should but set some boundaries next time….it could be a good exercise for me to practice setting boundaries.

    Perhaps its the fact that we didn’t set any boundaries that got me upset and judging his behaviour?

    ACW

    • gigi says:

      You have all the control over your own behavior. You have no control over his. So he cannot get at you if he’s in your house UNLESS you don’t create any boundaries. This seems to me like a boundary issue. Maybe you can try to see this as a blessing in disguise. You can look at this from a completely different angle and take it as a gift. That’s hard to do but you can do it. Just put it on a totally different canvas. Instead of seeing it as losing money and respect, see it as a gift. This man came into your home and for X amount of dollars (whatever he ate up) that was the price you paid for learning that you need to set boundaries now.

      Did he eat up $200? That’s a pretty damn good deal for you. If it only cost you $200 to learn that you need to set your boundaries, then you and your husband could plan a date night and have a wonderful meal with wine and celebrate that you learned something and you are going to move forward.

      Don’t let your ego get the best of you. Your ego feels hurt. Fine, let it feel hurt. Your higher self is moving forward. You will take all of this and welcome it and decide if you want him back or not. If you don’t, it’s over. If you do, set the boundaries. You won’t be perfect at it but you can practice with other people before he returns.

      You can’t go wrong either way. 😉

      • ACW says:

        Totally agree it’s a gift and a lesson learnt – now I just need the skill to learn how to set the boundaries 🙂 I’m working on it! It’s hard for me to do this…..but you have inspired me to write another blog. Thank you 🙂

  3. gigi says:

    I know this is bizarre but I practiced with cars. I’d walk my dog and every time a car drove toward us and passed us, I imagined that the person in the car was the person I had a situation with and I practiced how I would respond if they… whatever. Day after day on a fairly busy road (on the sidewalk, walking), this can be really helpful. After 50 cars, I had it down.

    • ACW says:

      I think you must be much more advanced than me. Each sentence that I conjure up doesn’t past my own test, so I can’t see myself using it in reality. But maybe given time I will improve 🙂

  4. hmm this is difficult – ungrateful guests and people who are ungenerous get a pretty tough time of it in the bible too

    i would suggest that you continue to be gracious but avoid situations where he can take advantage of your generosity (dinners etc)

    I would also avoid inviting him back!

    • ACW says:

      Thanks for leaving a comment 🙂 What does the bible say about ungenerous/ungrateful guests? That is very interesting….I hope I can do the right thing by the bible…

  5. It’s not judgmental to not allow yourself to be taken advantage of. I think in instances like this, it might help to ask yourself what is the worse thing that could happen. If at the pub, you said, “the bill came while you were outside and your share is such and such an amount”, what is the worse thing that could happen? He’s not going to pull a gun on you or smack you around. The worse that could happen is that he might get so self righteously offended at being treated like an adult that he decides never to use your home as a flophouse again. And that’s not so bad right.
    You know the first time you stand up for yourself is the hardest but it gets easier. I’m sorry that someone was so rude to you!

  6. ACW says:

    Hi @thepurpledogpaintingblog – thanks for your comment 🙂 I am so happy to see a new person visit my blog.

    @gigi pointed out to me that I am worried about offending people, which is quite true. I want to be the nice friend, but at the same time not being taken advantage of. Is that a contradiction? You have made me realize that if the worst is that he doesn’t want to be friends anymore, then I suppose that he is not such a great friend and I should not fear losing such a friend who takes advantage of others. Makes sense. 🙂

  7. Stewie says:

    Whilst I’m not a Christian, my mother is, and I wish that she would pay more attention to the “Do not judge, or you too will be judged” verse! I constantly have to say – live and let live, don’t judge people, especially without knowing them. Nothing worse than religious hypocrites. Especially when they’re related to you. 🙂

    • ACW says:

      I agree with not judging people especially without knowing them. 🙂 Recently I saw a lady wearing clothes much younger than her age….and in the past I would have judged but now I just think, “good on you!” and “I’m sure its nice to feel young”.

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