Friday, January 15, 2016

Are You Judging?


Matthew 7:1-3
Do not judge, or you too will be judged.  For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.  Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?

I never think this would be suited to me, but I'm actually enjoying and being inspired by monthly luncheons with a local Christian women's group.  A resolved introvert, I don't think I require this breach of practice, but these loving women help me, in large and small ways, to let my guard down and just be myself.

We too often hear/think of "the church" as being judgmental, demanding, and at its lowest, exclusive.  But in stark contrast, though I attend this luncheon as an "outsider," I'm quickly, unconditionally accepted as a friend.  These women do not judge me.  They don't care if I'm wearing enough make-up or upscale jewelry even though our luncheon venue is a country club.

They couldn't care less.

I sit at a table with unknown faces who are quick to make themselves known.

They embrace each other.

They embrace me.

And though I mistakenly think in attending this gathering I will be outside my comfort zone, I can't be further from the truth.

I am accepted as a child of God.

I stand corrected.

I stand amazed.

And I know, beyond any shadow of doubt, that God works in mysterious and wondrous ways.

I am not judged.

I am loved.

And I can love in return.

~

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you feared you might be judged?  What was the outcome?

Prayer:  Father, thank You for the opportunity opened to me to be a part of the lives of these precious Christian women.  As one who would rather sit at her computer and write, I hadn't realized how important it is to touch and be touched by the lives of others on this Christian journey.  I thank You for this open door, and I pray that all who are reading this and seeking, even though reluctantly at times, will find Your love and grace in the hearts of those around them, and be able to give love in return.  In Jesus' name, we pray.  Amen.

19 comments:

  1. I think in some ways slapping all Christians with the "judgmental" label is an excuse to write it off. Yes, there are judgmental people everywhere--in churches and not in churches. And yes, they tend to be very vocal, but there is also real love and acceptance. I'm so glad you found it with this group! It's so important and beautiful. Thanks Martha!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Jason, I'm so glad to have found this group, too. And I'm fortunate to attend a church where the "judges" aren't heard too often or too loudly. If more folks would give the church a try, I think they'd certainly find Christians to be genuinely loving and welcoming.
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  2. Hi Martha! Great image! It gave me quite a chuckle...
    I'm so glad you found a home with other Christian women, a place where you feel accepted and encouraged. That's like finding a pot of gold, isn't it?
    I always feel judged, and it's not a good thing. I'm sure I put a lot of that on myself, I doubt it's really true. Making decisions about what people are like, or how they act is a very human habit, don't you think? But it can be used to bring people way down, instead of helping to see what we have in common.
    I am encouraged to start really working on embracing, thank you! It really made you feel like the special woman of God that you are. Wonderful!
    Blessings,
    Ceil

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is exactly like finding a pot of gold, Ceil! I just attended another luncheon this past week, and I can't tell you how much I looked forward to it and what an enjoyable time I had.
      Yes, I think we are all guilty of judging others from time to time, and it is a human habit and frailty, but we can, when we catch ourselves about to judge ourselves or others, stop right then and there and ask God for His help. A little prayer goes a long way in turning us in the right direction!
      Thank you, as always, for your kind and thoughtful words here!
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  3. Hi Martha, I love the image at the top of your post. As an introvert I get it! It's always a bit nerve wracking to go into new situations, particularly as an introvert. When I was led to change churches in 2009, I wondered how I would be treated at the new church. I received a warm welcome. The change was necessary; even today, I'm glad that I'm part of that body of believers.

    Love and blessings!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, Kim, even if you hadn't told me you were an introvert, I'd already guessed. Maybe one reason why we feel so connected! :)
      Yes, change can be stressful for those of our ilk, but sometimes (most times), God has a plan for us in those changes and assures us He will help us deal with being outside our comfort zone. As you can tell by this post, I'm learning the rewards are more than worth the risk.
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  4. I am like you. Prefer to be 'alone' and not in a crowd but it is good for us to stretch out and force ourselves to just 'trust in the process' of being with others.
    good words.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Sharon, trusting in the process, trusting in God's guidance, is really where we find the courage as introverts to take on new situations. I find that every time I attend an event to promote my books, I have all kind of knots in my stomach; once I'm there, though, talking with others about the creation I love, I can't keep my mouth shut! :) True introvert!
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  5. yes great image and funny too. As an introvert too I would crawl into my office cave and hide away for days. BUT my self-care needs to interact with people and finding a small group like you did is a healthy balance. feeling loved and accepted is the key. I am open to trying a group one time but am very cautious and conscious if I feel welcomed and safe. I wouldn't return if I felt that way. good thoughts to ponder! have a great weekend, Martha!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Another introvert! Yay! Welcome to the growing club, Jean. :)
      Yes, I do love being around other people, but only for short spurts of time. And it is so important to find a small group where you feel welcomed, appreciated, and can encourage others, too. Glad I gave you some good thoughts to ponder; you always do that for me, guaranteed!
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  6. i was in a meeting just yesterday (Saturday) in which some "idiot" ran off at the mouth about killing drug dealers and homosexuals. After it was over, one of the ladies I was talking to said, "sorry but he was probably a Christian." I raised my eyebrows and said, "I don't know. I've heard some things come out of his mouth which might make you wonder." She was judgmental and including all Christians in a wipe sweep. It goes both ways. What you are experiencing is what the church is to be like all the time! Glad you have found it Martha. What a testimony to those ladies.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It does go both ways, Bill, I agree wholeheartedly. And yes, I'm so happy to have found a safe haven where judgment has no place. So refreshing and inspiring!
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  7. I love how Jesus unites us. I've had too many times when He has brought together people who had very little in common. When Rev and I were first married we had a mentor/friend who would have dinner parties and invited people from various parts of his life. They were always engaging and interesting evenings. We loved it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Those evenings sound wonderful, indeed, Deb. Sometimes God allows amazing things to happen when we give Him room to work in our lives.
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  8. I have found myself in that situation too many times to mention here...at church, at my children's school...so I generally keep to myself and don't go anywhere. It just isn't worth it anymore. It makes me feel bad.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Man, that's so tough, Kathy, but being introverted means we can find happiness and contentment in the "alone" times. I hope that's true for you, my friend!
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  9. I am glad you stepped out of your comfort zone and found a community you feel welcomed and just can be you. I believe experiences is what teaches us not to feel judged, and if we are judged how to handle it by being routed in our identity in Christ. I can definitely feel fearful of being judged particularly by people who have gossiped or placed judgement on me already. And I have been place judgement too, and continue to learn when that judgement is a mirror of me, or because that person pushes my buttons due to values being different than mine. We are called to love others. Thank God we have Him to help us do that!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Lynn, I'm so glad I stepped out, too. The rewards have, thankfully, far outweighed the risks of being judged.
      And I think it's perfectly natural to feel apprehensive when we are around people whom we know have already judged us. But we must stay grounded in the love of Jesus and remind ourselves each day when we look in the mirror that we are loved as God's children.
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  10. I am glad you stepped out of your comfort zone and found a community you feel welcomed and just can be you. I believe experiences is what teaches us not to feel judged, and if we are judged how to handle it by being routed in our identity in Christ. I can definitely feel fearful of being judged particularly by people who have gossiped or placed judgement on me already. And I have been place judgement too, and continue to learn when that judgement is a mirror of me, or because that person pushes my buttons due to values being different than mine. We are called to love others. Thank God we have Him to help us do that!

    ReplyDelete

I Will Lift My Eyes

Luke 21:25 There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars.  On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and t...