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We grade ourselves in intention, not execution

the next best step video Apr 29, 2022

It’s easy for us to look at others and say something like, “You should have seen that coming! You should have known where those decisions were going to take you!” 

It’s easy for us to give others legalistic law when bad things occur and at the same time give ourselves an over-abundance of grace (“It will work out somehow”), ignoring that a path actually leads somewhere- and it may not be where we want it to go.

Here’s one reason why: we tend to judge others based on the outcome of their decisions (that is, the end result of what happened). At the same time, we most often judge ourselves based on our intent (“I tried my best...”).

That is, we grade ourselves on the curve.

And-- for the most part-- it's a curve we create. 

In addition, when others fail we tend to blame them and their ability. “It’s your fault,” we tell them. Or- “How could you have....?!”


It couldn't have been me?!

Oddly enough, we blame the environment for our shortcomings. For instance, I’m not late for our meeting because I was running late because I woke up late or didn’t plan well... I’m late because of the traffic, because one of the kids had an emergency when I was leaving, etc.

In other words, we give ourselves an over-abundance of hyper-grace. At the same time, we offer others law.

This makes it hard to see things happening on our own path, sometimes. And, this is one reason we really need people in our lives- “on our bus,” to use a familiar analogy.

This skewed view of looking at things-- of being direct and honest about others but being overly gracious about ourselves-- often blinds us to what’s happening around us.

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