There was once a famous thinker that said, “We goes together like peas and carrots.”

Certain things in life just go together better.

Peanut butter isn’t nearly as good without jelly.
Steak isn’t as good without potatoes.
A ham and cheese sandwich isn’t as good without chocolate milk.

What? You don’t do that too? Okay, maybe I’m weird.

While some things are better together, there are some that always seem to appear around the same time as each other.

Airbrushed t-shirts and rednecks.
Golf courses and white people.
Taco Bell and college students.

Some things are simply interconnected.

In the last week or two I’ve found another group of things that are interconnected. These aren’t nearly as fun as Taco Bell or steak and potatoes though. They start off pretty bad and then snowball downward from there? What are they?

A judgmental attitude and depression.

Whenever I catch myself judging or making fun of things on Facebook or Twitter, or judging or making fun of people that I see throughout the day, I always feel my attitude start to take a downward turn. I cannot be judgmental without depression quickly following.

Being judgmental hurts other people.

Depression hurts yourself.

If one is inherently tied to the other, wouldn’t it make sense not to even go near the first? If you knew that you would spend two hours in the bathroom every time you ate at a certain restaurant, would you still go? No. You’d stay away from it and tell your friends to stay away from it too. Yet when we get around our friends, or when we’re sitting at home alone on the couch, we look at people who are different from us and judge them. It feels good in the moment but it quickly takes a downward turn. A big greasy pizza tastes great in the moment, but I always catch myself in a race against myself to the toilet afterwards. I then regret eating the pizza regardless of how great it tasted when I was eating it.

The same can be said about how we look at other people. If judging them or making fun of them always leads to us feeling crappy about ourselves, why judge them or make fun of them in the first place? Yes, it’s the easy thing to do when you are in the moment. But it’s not the smart thing. I’m learning that there are times that I have to put my phone down, close my computer, and leave my iPad downstairs because Twitter is blowing up about something that just annoys me. If I keep looking at it, I’m going to judge the people tweeting. If I judge the people tweeting, depression is going to take a nice little visit to me before I go to bed.

By shutting myself off from the temptation, by getting up and leaving the situation, I protect myself from the threat of depression.

Why hurt other people?

Why hurt other people especially when you know that it’s going to come back and hurt you?

We’re called to more than that. We’re called to love people. We are called to love ourselves as well. We can’t do that if we’re constantly tearing others down and, in the process, tearing ourselves down.

Encouragement starts by simply not being discouraging. If we can get that part down, the rest begins to snowball.

But this time, it’s towards a good thing.

Say your prayers and take your vitamins.

Have a nice day.