Much of what we say and do reflects our own heart even when the focus is on others. Our words and actions are the overflow and representation of our heart attitudes. Said another way, whatever’s in the well comes up in the bucket.
For instance, the bully intimidating others is likely revealing his own fears and insecurities. But it’s much easier to pick on these perceived shortcomings in others than to address them within himself.
And we all can be guilty of this to some degree.
For example, our need to criticize the perceived lack of self-control in another might say more about our own need for perfection and the fear of being out of control than it does any lack of discipline in the other.
Likewise, when we find ourselves looking down on others for the way they dress, their jobs, education, or the like, this likely speaks more to our own inflated sense of superiority and the fear of losing our social status.
This can go in the opposite direction as well.
For instance, when we idealize others and put them on a pedestal, this is often revealing our own envy, jealousy, and the deep desires of our heart we feel we’re without.
Of course, there are times in which we are naming objective realities. But this is never a pure objectivity. We’re still seeing and responding to others based on the dynamics in our own heart.
As such, those issues we focus on in others provide us with clues to the deep issues stirring in our own souls.
And we rob ourselves of the chance to grow and mature when we don’t take the time to reflect on these realities.
Remember, what’s in the well comes up in the bucket. Your words and actions are revealing the deep issues in your own heart. Learn to listen well and adjust accordingly.