Have been pondering this verse from Scripture. It is a good one, for it clearly expresses how it is when one is different from others, even family members.
There is a contradiction when some Christians die to the world, but somehow think or try to serve two masters. Can we really live two lives successfully? It all may depend upon the depth and degree of our calling from His Real Presence. And that can often depend upon life circumstances, for He does seem to lay out a defined path if and when we give ourselves over to Him--and this, also, in varying degree and depth.
These variations among souls and their spiritual calling--and also their accepting the calling--can be a beautiful symphony. Symphonies can also have clashing and strident tones, depending upon the compositions.
What seems so painful in accepting our calling, especially if a strong degree and depth of the spiritual, through, with, and in His Real Presence, is that those closest may not value or appreciate those called (or culled) out of the more temporal aspects of this beautiful, varied gift from God, the good of the world.
Many cannot appreciate nor value those different ones. What they have to offer seems not pertinent to the daily life and functions of the temporal world, of society, of careers and active life, active interests. The result of the more deeply spiritual, the more contemplative souls, with the more active and temporal--and this among Christians, too--is the lesser spiritual not seeing a purpose or value in the more spiritual.
Being critical is a gift when it assists in one's understanding of externals. It is helpful in knowing ourselves and others. But when criticism attacks the inner of who we are, particularly of a good aspect such as the spiritual, of the love-of-God essence of being, something dies in those who are criticized. The spiritual soul who is criticized turns all the more to His Real Presence, for in Him there is acceptance by the One whose own did not accept Him.
Often, those who criticize the externals are simply discovering that there are aspects of the external, of the temporal, that can be or should be improved. Or, there is a discovery that one is seeking more of something other, something greater, something divine: God. Thus, it is then best to leave off from what it is that stirs the critical observation and determine to love more those things "above".
When we find ourselves criticizing others or the temporal aspects that seemingly clash with that which is above, the divine--including the divine that is in all aspects of earth and people--it shows that we are growing beyond the temporal, in whatever way or degree.
But when we criticize a human for or of his essence, of his desire and love of God and how that is portrayed in his daily life and perspective--this is not love. It is an inability to accept those who perhaps remind us of that which we may be resisting in our own souls for any number of reasons. We are resisting becoming more spiritual ourselves. We want the other to be where we think we are in seemingly temporal comfort zones. We fear the unknown realms. We don't want to feel alone. We want to fit into the images of the world as created by people in society, of which many have contributed these images.
Criticizing due to not being comfortable with the spiritual essence and being of a soul, and the ways in which that soul perceives and is, severs the cord of a deep love that links souls to souls. We must strive to keep criticism for temporal aspects that will help us or others grow. We must resist criticizing the heart and soul of others, even if we do not realize our criticism is at those levels.
God bless His Real Presence in us! For where His Real Presence makes His Abode in a soul is love. When a person is criticized beneath the surface, the criticism is criticizing Who Is within, God-Is-Love. Little children, let us love one another!