“You’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t.”
That’s the disheartening sentiment that I usually mumble to myself when, in my efforts to do or say something good, I get accused of doing or saying too much and not enough all at the same time. It’s sighed in exasperation when I feel like I’m too much for some people and yet still not enough for others.
Our Lord understands how it feels to be misunderstood. In today’s Gospel, Jesus calls out the duplicitous nature of the crowd who says that John the Baptist is “possessed by a demon” for not eating and drinking and then calls Jesus a “glutton and a drunkard” when He does eat and drink. (See Luke 7:33-34.)
The world will never be satisfied by our attempts to do what is good. And that is why, dear sisters, we are called to do what is holy by the Lord’s standards and not those of the world.
There will always be someone who is hypercritical of our choices, accusatory of our actions or inactions, or simply disagrees with what we do because we don’t do things their way. We can either be discouraged by them or we can take a deep breath and thrive in the knowledge that “wisdom is vindicated by her children” (Luke 7:35).
When we lean into Christ, Who is Wisdom, and live in the power of wisdom as a Gift of the Holy Spirit, we might still be accused of ulterior motives, but we will have the courage to do good and strive for holiness anyway. Our goal is not the approval of man but the glory of God.
Today, pray the Litany of Humility and ask the Lord to purify your intentions, actions, and words. And pray in thanksgiving for those who might misunderstand you, for they are unintentionally helping you become more like our Lord!
And if you find yourself as the one who is accusing, mislabeling, and judging, pray the Litany of Humility and ask the Lord to also purify your intentions, actions, and words. Pray for the grace to apologize to someone you may have hurt.
Find the Litany of Humility here.
Chika Anyanwu is a Catholic evangelist based in Southern California and is also the author of My Encounter: How I Met Jesus In Prayer. She has a deep love for Jesus, loves her beautiful Nigerian family, and is a firm believer that if coffee is good, there’s no need for cream or sugar. Find out more here.