The sliding scale

Thought for the day: Is a person “good” or “bad”?

Take a moment and think of the people in your life. Would you say they are good or bad? Nice or not nice? Is this categorization based on a series of experiences or just one event that cemented your opinion of this person?

I have come to the conclusion that “good or bad” is a sliding scale. There are very few Hitlers and Mother Teresas out there at either end of the scale. The rest of us fall somewhere in between.

We all make mistakes. On those days we are sliding down the scale. Not quite horrible, but less that our best. Conversely, when we make positive decisions or perhaps do something nice for someone else we are moving up the scale for that day. We are each constantly moving up and down the scale, perhaps incrementally, but still moving.

The point I am trying to make is that if you can recognize this in yourself, you can recognize this in others. Too many times we form an opinion of another, friend or not, and never allow that opinion to change. Would you like to be judged based on one day in your life? And if we don’t want to be defined by one moment, that happened yesterday or long ago, maybe we can extend the same courtesy to others and understand that their “scale” is sliding as well.

Don’t get me wrong, we all know people that tend to lean toward the lower end of the scale, who never seem to think in terms of “right” or “wrong”.  I try to avoid these people. They distract me from my goal of self-improvement and pull me down.

But isn’t the goal for most of us is to become better people, day by day? To become more pleasing in the sight of God?

And when we understand that we are not the same person that we were many years ago or even yesterday, we must open our hearts to realize that others have the capacity for change as well.

“So then each of us will give an account of himself to God. Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother.” Romans 14:12-13