Our lunchtime ladies Bible study is currently doing the Priesthood series by Beth Moore. A couple of weeks ago she brought a verse to our attention that I really needed:
“But these speak evil of whatever they do not know; and whatever they know naturally, like brute beasts, in these things they corrupt themselves. Woe to them!” Jude 10-11a
I have a problem with judgment. Its something I’m aware that I need to work on, but many times the flesh gets in the way and I say/think it before I can filter my thoughts.
One week, I was going at it from both sides. Early in the week I saw a local gospel singer in the weight room, looking at himself in the mirror as he did his bicep curls. For a Christian in the public eye, he’s acting awfully vain.
Later that week, another local gospel singer came into my office at work. I was shocked to see that he was morbidly obese. For a Christian in the public eye, he’s terribly overweight. Doesn’t he know our bodies are a temple unto the Lord?
No wonder Christian public figures come crashing down so hard sometimes. If the church judges them this harshly, what must the world be saying?
Since then, the Lord has shown me firsthand how much pain can be caused from judging what one does not know.
A young twenty-something and her husband entered the front doors of the church, holding hands. What made them different from any other couple? The surgical mask she was wearing over her nose and mouth.
Some in the church mocked her behind her back. What is she a germophobe afraid we’re going to give her something? These words were spoken in my mother’s class. Since s didn’t know the situation she tried to ignore the comment and change the subject.
Later, in my Sunday school class, that same couple entered the room and took a seat. When it got time for prayer requests, the husband spoke up and requested prayer for them, as they were travelling in the coming weeks to the state capital for her to receive bone marrow transplants.
Two Sundays ago, she came to church – without her mask – to share a message in song for the church. The pastor explained her situation, and then she began to sing “You were there” as a thank you to everyone in the church who supported them. The slideshow behind her included pictures of get well cards as well as pictures from the fundraising yard sale our class had to benefit her.
Hopefully she’ll only ever know of the love and encouragement of her church, and never learn the judgmental comments that were made. I sat smugly in my pew, hoping that those same people who made the comments were watching, mortified of the judgment they had made.
(Yeah, I was probably sitting in judgment of them at the moment. It’s a tricky thing isn’t it?)
Then the hardest incident hit home. A judgment about me – brought to my attention – by someone who just doesn’t understand my life. What hurt me the most is that it came from someone I care about, who I thought really liked me.
Pretty much all weekend I was depressed about it. Too depressed to exercise and too depressed to eat (well eat much).
That one moment of judgment has changed me, and has changed our relationship. I’ll probably never be able to open up to this person, like I have in the past.
"Forgive as the Lord forgave you." (Colossians 3:13)
I’m working on that now. Not there yet, but hopefully I will be.