Friday, September 15, 2017

My Judgmental Ways

Me in my uniform
 at the private school
I’m not a people person. The whole “love thy neighbor as thyself” thing can be hard for me, and frankly, there are days I don’t even try. By “not try” I do not mean I am ugly to others, I mean I just don’t engage. Shouldn’t Christians engage with others?

Back in high school, I was a bully. Mostly not, but there was one guy…I’ll call him Mark, because that’s his name…who I didn’t like.  At all.  I didn’t treat him very nice.  For some reason, I woke up this morning thinking about him. The reasons I didn’t like him were many, partly because of how he acted, and probably partly because of how he dressed, though I didn’t normally pick my friends by their appearance. Anyway. There were days I was pretty ugly to him, other days I ignored him. Years later, I ran into him while shopping. (He left this area years ago.)  He came over to speak to me…we talked like we had been good buddies. He introduced me to his friend. To my face, he showed grace, and I was impressed with the man he had become. He may have only been nice to me just to make me uncomfortable…but I doubt it. I like to think he really is a nice man regardless of my treatment of him. Long ago, I asked God’s forgiveness. I didn’t think to apologize when I saw him…

…and the school we went to was a Christian school. Maybe I shouldn’t tell y’all about my bad side. Not sure why Mark is on my mind this morning. I prayed for him, maybe that’s why.

Today, I will work on my judgmental ways. But first I need to figure out exactly what is being judgmental. Is it judgmental when I am bothered by the pastor of the largest church in my area who posts on Facebook about his favorite Guns N’ Roses and Pink Floyd songs? He’s not even my pastor…why would I be bothered by it? Is my being bothered by it being judgmental?  Especially since every now and then I crank up the radio to a 70's tune and sing along for all I'm worth.  I may also need to work on my hypocritical ways today, as well.

If I’m in church making mental notes about the way others are dressed, that’s surely judgmental…even if they might reconsider wearing a dress that short ever, much less to church.

Ugh. I’m not going to do well working on my judgmental ways from the looks of it.  It's a struggle to bring my thoughts into captivity to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5).   Am I alone in this fight?

I hope your Friday is a grand one. It’s not even 6 a.m. and I am already struggling with being nice to others and I haven’t even had to deal with anyone yet.


  1. Good grief. This is the second time today that the verse about taking thoughts captive has come up. First time was in my weight loss Bible study, now you. Probably not a coincidence.

    And I've been musing to myself about whether or not I'm being judgmental. It's about Facebook. And the things long time Christians are posting, sharing, and liking. Things that are just mean-spirited. Things that reveal an unrecognized prejudice, an underlying bitterness. It's troubling me. Ah-lot. So, I've been looking at my own thoughts about it. And here you are.

    And I'm not a people person, either. At all. Which is kind of odd for a counselor, I suppose. Never claimed to NOT be odd.

    I appreciate you, TBR. God's presence in you shows. It surely does.

    1. Yeah...probably not a coinky-dink. I find that God does let us know he's trying to show us something by putting in our path until we "get it."

      It's sad that Christians lose sight of who they are (or are supposed to be) and get caught up in spouting opinions and views that aren't Christ-like. I know I have been guilty my own self.

      Thank you for your encouragement!

  2. Brave post. I have worked hard on not being judgmental. Perhaps because I have been judged so very harshly...and incorrectly. There were people who set out to destroy me, turn those I loved against me, because I was not like them. They lied, spread rumours, said I drank, did drugs, was loose with others. NONE of it was ever true! These people? My family. They were right about one thing. I am not like them. They have done those things, and I leave that between them and God. I leave God to do his job. He lets me do mine. I do not drink or do drugs, never did. I have only been with my husband. I do listen to rock, and country, and folk...I wear tie dye and jeans. I live simply. Some say I am still a hippie, though a conservative one. I know I am good with God. That is all that matters. Peace.

    1. I think a "conservative hippie" sounds interesting!

      I'm sorry about the issues with your family. I'm glad you have not let their words affect who you are.

  3. I, too, am a little disturbed by a pastor who uses Facebook to gush about his favorite rock songs. I don't feel I am being judgmental. I call it discerning. I wonder if he would be comfortable printing out those lyrics as a supplemental handout for Sunday's Power Point Presentation (formerly known as a sermon)? I did attend this church at one time, but it has become a rock concert slash coffee bar slash entertainment center where "Christ's Kids" can come "get their praise on." (Whatever that means). It's more than is alarming that souls are being fed M & M's and Twinkies when they need meat and bread. Oh, but we must not offend...someone may get up and leave. You might like this article, Margaret. I thought of you when Bro. Bobby Lowery passed away.

    1. Thanks for that link, Susan. I've visited it once, and I will visit it again.

      I know there are good things that come from that church, and many people are touched with the pastor's messages (and perhaps the music). But I tend to agree with you on the cakes and candy instead of meat and bread.

      I was saddened to hear about Bobby Lowery. I know he was loved.

  4. I think as long as you are open to the spirit and willing to acknowledge your ways that are not exactly in line with the spirit, then even though it's not over night, you're making progress and doing what you're supposed to do. Remember the judgement on judgement day is about what's in your heart. You want to be better. You don't try "every day" but goodness even God took a break. When you start at the gym and you want big results, they say to take breaks in between.
    I don't know what to say about rock song loving pastors. I know that we all need to be lead. And we all need to be guarded against open doors to the enemy. Shouldn't we be lead to be guarded against open doors to the enemy. But all I can do is decide how I'm going to behave and where I'm gonna go to church. (I listened to some rock today).
    And finally: you're so beautiful in that pic. Stunning even. I love you so much and I'm glad that you are my example of who I need to be. I think often that I'm able to be considerate, loving, perceptive, wise, thoughtful, intuitive and diplomatic bc you showed me how.

  5. Maybe Mark over the years has prayed that he could forgive you for your teen years and how you bullied him a bit. Maybe he chose to forgive rather than let bitterness slip in and we know what happens when that root comes to stay. But I do believe God does put it on our hearts to pray for people that need prayer, so perhaps that is why indeed Mark was on your mind this morning and you did the best thing when you prayed for him.

    I'm so judgmental and hypocritical, but I do admit that I am. Son has a tattoo on his forearm "judge not lest you should be judged." Maybe I need to get such a tattoo. Perhaps I also need to do less judging and more praying about those I'm judging.

    I do find it hard to grasp the concept that you might have been a bit of a bully in your earlier years.


    1. Ha...well thanks for not recognizing the ugly in me! ☺ (Don't get the tattoo! lol)


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