Sometimes I stare a beautiful women with my nose turned up in the air–desperate. Looking. Narrowing my eyes to find the flaws. My own insecurities at their height, I’m secretly satisfied when imperfection is found. Then I’m embarrassed.
Mortified by the black heart that seeks out the mistakes in words of any brilliant author. Wishing I measured up. Wishing I had the best-selling book. Wishing I was someone I’m not and bitterly judging the incredible talent before me. Then I’m mortified.
Shamed knowing I look for weaknesses in others just to feel better about myself. Guilty of looking down upon gossip only to turn and whisper a bit of delicious news into the ear of a friend.
We hear phrases echoed off cultural walls–social media, church, our homes. Don’t judge. Be yourself. The words seem to swing through the air on a collision course in a half-hearted attempt to create a happier, healthy world. But they fall flat. Slam and slide down the wall to be trammeled by the taunts and jeers filling space and time.
Because we judge. And then we struggle to know who we are. And then we judge some more.
When others look down their noses at our lives, it pains us. Yet we fling accusations too. She’s too fat. She’s too skinny. Did you see what she was wearing? Have you heard? Her marriage is on the rocks. Who allows their kids do that?
The plank in my own eye rubs me raw. And if I really saw my two-by-four sins in front of my face, I would never see the dust hanging from the sleeves of my sisters. You see, we were never created to be judge and jury of a person’s value. Her worth. Her soul.
So here we sit with broken identities. Broken self-images with an inability to be who God created us to be. And we’re afraid. Afraid of what others may think. How they will judge. Because we judge.
What if…What if there was a direct connection…What if the way we judge others is directly connected to our ability to be truly ourselves? What if the more we judge others, the more our own identity is hidden? Because when we compare ourselves to another soul bought with the price of arms stretched across splintered wood, how can we ever be who God created us to be?
Because if we never open our hearts and accept others, scars and all, can we ever truly accept our own battle weary souls?
When we’re too busy molding the world into a box, we forget to mold ourselves into Christ followers. Putting our whole selves into His holy hands. And loving His world and speaking His truth with that same love.
I can never be more who I am created to be than when I’m loving others and when my judgment is squelched and buried. My example is Christ. And when Jesus walked this earth He loved.
He loved the adulterous woman about to be stoned. He loved the woman at the well with five husbands. He loved Zacchaeus, a hated tax collector. He loved and befriended smelly fishermen. He wept at the tomb of His friend Lazarus. It was the Pharisees and Sadducees for which Jesus had little patience.
The answer to a heart of judgment is a heart full of Jesus love. Second to the command of loving my Creator is loving His created people. A heart that shouts, Lord show me how to love. Let me see your world through the lens of Jesus is a heart who knows its purpose.
When we fill-up and flow over with love, there is no space left for judgement. Joy will flood our soul.
When I am Salt and Light, it’s easy to be me.
Do you want to be yourself? Love. Love God’s people. Watch His light break through—Oh the sweet joy it will bring to the lost world, desperate to know Him. You will realize this is exactly who you were created to be.
Because you find yourself in the loving.
“I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you must also love one another. By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35 HCSB