The Heaviness of False Guilt

“For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.” Matthew 23:4, KJV.

This verse came to mind today as  when after waking up, checking emails, book sale postings, moderation duties, teaching school, feeding children, organizing paperwork for property management, reading to my children among other things, and I happened upon the umpteenth guilt laden post about mothers that spend too much time on the computer, taking pictures, or some other activity that was something we should feel guilty about.

My first reaction was anger to be honest.

I had to look deep within to see where it was coming from and realized that this was a righteous anger.

Do I think and know that there are mothers that should spend more time with their children? Yes.

Do I know which mothers need to hear that? No.

If I am spending time judging the mother in the park for checking her phone, I am not doing what I am supposed to be doing. I have no idea if that mother brought her child to the park to play after spending all morning reading books to him and just needed to listen and answer her voice mails and text messages  on her phone at that moment.

The photo went around judging the young women for taking selfies with their food. Another condemning post was passed by about people taking photos of the Pope passing by, while one woman sat with a blissful expression on her face, enjoying the moment. The comments on the post were that we need to enjoy the moment more, rather than focusing on seeing it through a camera phone. In that post, there was a blanket judgement passed that all those seeing the moment through their phone camera, were not possibly enjoying it as the other woman was.

I will ask, “Who are we to judge?”  Are you passing judgement on others and binding a heavy burden on them?

I encourage you, before you post something about spending less time on the computer, enjoying the moment, spending time in “real life”, stop.

It may be a good word, but remember to hold a balance. Many of those people that you think “spend all day sitting on their computers and phones”, often have good reasons to do so. It may be their job, or it could just be an appearance.

Think before you speak, especially online. Don’t weigh down others with guilt they don’t need.

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