(* Warning: this post contains the words God, Jesus & may imply in general the existence of God…)
I really am not too sure how to put what I have to say, what I need to say in words, but it needs to be said. It could be an entire book, maybe volumes. I have lived my entire life wishing that I could find a way to ease the pain in my brain, the hurt in my heart. I have thought and prayed, fasted and studied, been prayed over, chastened, chastised and exhorted until the Agape love of the Bible has become to me the ” Sloppy Agape” because as much as people have given me their 2 cents, shouted their advice from the Christian peanut gallery or been willing to pray for me, I never have truly felt many actually knew me or my heart.
People tend to judge others. People often think what they see on the outside is always a direct reflection of what the person ” chooses” or desires for their life. The truth is, sometimes people are dealt hands in life that are just very heavy and eventually after enough sorrow, sadness, illness and overall struggle- they can easily begin a long cycle of crash and burn. Even Christians (Yes! Even Christians-lol) maybe especially Christians. Our outside actions can deceive others who are only looking on the surface. It is easy to judge others by their outward struggles, and often those who have struggles that are inside, which nobody can see, start believing that they are ” less sinful” then others simply because nobody knows much about their sin.
I once told a woman that I care about deeply how it is to be a the ” outward ” struggler, who has their dirty laundry aired often and reviewed publicly . She is a good and Godly women with a good heart. I asked her to consider her life if…
” Consider your life, if for some unknown reason, you were only permitted to dress each day ( no matter where you were going) like a hooker.”
I asked her to imagine life no matter if her motives were the best and she the most Godly woman she could be, but was forced to be looked upon everyone, everyday like she was just a hooker who chose that way of life. In reality it was the polar opposite of who she really was. How would she handle the ridicule, the finger pointing and the shame others imposed on her as they simply judged her by the outside and what she appeared to be.
Now before you send me a ” Sloppy Agape” email lol …I am not saying that our outward actions are not important or should not be as good as possible. I am saying that unless God is the one doing the work on our hearts, our outside actions are simply an act. There is a big difference between fruit of the Spirit, and acting good. I believe many, many people will be surprised at what Jesus meant when He proclaimed that the first shall be last and the last shall be first. Maybe the mass murderer who gave his heart to God in prison will have a bigger mansion and more rewards in heaven then the one who volunteers in church 3x per week, teaches Sunday school, and says ” Praise the Lord” the most…could this actually be the case? Shocking thought, is it not? Well, that is what the Word says, so take it up with the author if it does not fit into your mold for God, but that is what it teaches.
I am not for sure if she ever really thought about it, but I sure have. I wonder how many of you reading this have been judged so wrongly and so blindly that you understand what I am saying? Either way, whether you have been the judger or the victim of judgement, this should be easy to relate to. There is only one who truly knows our hearts, our motives and what we are truly seeking and desperately trying to be. Only the one who created us knows us in that way. Thus, the Bible says we should not judge others, and that God judges the heart, not the words or works.
Lots of things do not make sense in our finite minds, but God is infinite. When I first read the story of King David and his life in the Bible, I remember being very confused. I recalled his act of murder & adultery, yet the Word says the God called him ” A man after my own heart “.
How can this be? Surely God was mistaken!
Is God saying if we wish to be Godly, commit murder or adultery to win points? Of course not. However only God knew the real heart of David, and could know of his intentions and overall motives.
Even children will turn against their parents, says scripture, because of the name of the Lord. Sometimes pursuing God may bring you to a very lonely place, even a desperate one. The world we live in right now is not supportive of the ways of God and Scripture – as a matter of fact it is contrary to the Word and ways of God. This is not home for the believer. It does not feel right to the believer. It is not supposed to. I encourage anyone who has not partaken to indulge in the writings of C.S. Lewis. He penned ” The Screwtape Letters ” , ” The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe series” and others. He was a gifted author who was an atheist most of his life. When he did come to understand the God he was running from, he used his gifts to describe what goes on in the spiritual realm with us on this earth. It is eye opening at least and a true revelation at best.
I believe in self- reflection and introspect. I believe it is mandatory for us to examine ourselves and the condition of our hearts. However there is a big difference between self-reflection and self-condemnation. There is no point in trying to please all the people. You can please some of the people all the time, and all of the people some of the time, but never all the people, all the time. If you are constantly being judged, and you are not aware that God knows your true heart- it is inevitable that you will reach a point of hopelessness. You will find that dark space that seeks to whisper in your ear how you are ” too far gone” or ” better off dead” etc…
If you are the judging type, be careful that you are not the one who makes a statement in judgement a person who is only one whisper away from suicide. It happens every day, people finger point and judge addicts, or homeless people and many more. They have no idea what that Viet Nam vet endured while fighting for your freedom. They are clueless as to the disease of addiction and that mocking an addict is like mocking someone with Cancer, or Diabetes. Just another disease, and to date I have yet to meet a person who set out to be, or wanted to be an addict. Likewise with Cancer patients or the Diabetic .
Make it a point not to redirect or criticize a person who has walked in shoes you do not own, and trekked through paths you have never even been to. I have had people I care about and even family members flippantly say things like ” drug addicts? It is their choice!” or ” They made their bed-let them sleep in it” . That is just ignorance, and most times they have no idea what they are saying. Here is a sad truth however; many of us love to cut others down in areas we have no affliction in, no struggle with. It makes us feel better about our lives.
Whatever the area may be, be careful when entering into the life of others that you are part of the solution not the problem. If you are a person struggling with things that you are fighting and praying for answers to – take heart because your judge is not walking the earth right now. You are not to fall into the trap of taking others opinions and nasty comments to heart. As a matter of fact, the more you pursue righteousness, the more attacks you will feel from all directions. Not everyone likes to watch others reach success, or victory. Let God deal with them.
A little birdy once told me ….
If we insist and persist on tearing down others, we may very well find ourselves in the exact same (or worse) position that they are. It is dangerous territory.
Will you be part of someone’s solution today?
Visualize whirled peas-