Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Pot, Kettle....Black

These last few months I have been witness to some serious stone throwing.   I have seen and read things that make me laugh, get upset, roll my eyes, become defensive and get angry over. It's something that I believe most of us, including me, are guilty of - judging our sisters in Christ.

  • A dear bloggy friend was called out over a TV show she enjoyed. 
  • There was a heated discussion on Lisa Bevre's Facebook page when she asked a question about sleeves or no sleeves during a woman's conference. It got to the point where she deleted the whole discussion. 
  • I've overheard disparaging remarks about a group within my own church.

While reading "Get Out of the Pit" by Beth Moore, she talks about being called out because she purchased flavoured creamer and someone believed that she was "spiking" the coffee.

What is going on?  When did we all go back to Junior High?  Is there a book for the Old Queen Bees and Yesterday's Wannabees?  Is there going to be a Housewives of the Blogosphere?

Now before you all get upset, I'm pulling the "plank" out of my eye right now. I admit it. I'm as guilty as the next person. I judged a fellow blogger who changed her blog's direction to something I disagreed with. I judged a fellow believer for not volunteering in church when we are struggling to get volunteers. I judged ....while I'm sure you're aware of where this going.

God Commands each of us not to judge others:
There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor? (James 4:12 NIV)

“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. (Matthew 7: 1-2 NIV)
Take it from me, when you judge others, it opens up the floodgates.  Not just in regards to you being judged, but all the other sins that come with it - envy, anger, unforgiveness, coveting......  I have to ask myself - WHY?  What do I get out of it?  What are my reasons?  Is it worth it?  It all starts with a lie that Satan tells us.  It's never done in the light, bur always in the dark behind others backs.  Sometimes it even starts with:  "Not that I'm judging, but...."  Really, what else do you call it?

Chew on this for minute:  It's a reflection of our own hearts. 
For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. (Matthew 12:34b NIV)

That's right - What we say is a reflection of our own pain, insecurities and failures. 

God calls us to be united in Christ.  He speaks about us being 1 body in 1 Corinthians 12:  12-27.  We are each a part arranged exactly where we are needed to be.  In fact, each of us needs the other.  If one of us falls, we all fall.  If one of us takes a stand in support of another, we all stand strong and unbreakable.

I urge us all to humble ourselves and support, lift up, encourage, and always speak God's truth and love to each other.  We represent God to a broken and unbelieving world.  We are all His representatives.  I take a stand now to turn from the juvenile and immature ways that give me a false sense of self and to start being the grown up and take responsibility for my actions.  Are you joining me?

Father, you have called us to live in community with each other. To use
our words to build each other up and to encourage each other. Helps us to
embrace this. Help us to look at each other with Your
eyes. When we judge each other, help us to pray
for forgiveness immediately and bring us into reconciliation. Amen

Join me with Jen at Finding Heaving for the Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood.


Bobbi said...

I have to say though...sometimes the whole "judge not, lest ye be judged" thing goes past it's desired point. Yes, we are called to judge ourselves...most harshly, to see if our faith is true. At the same time, if we are all part of the same body...we need to be watching, listening and caring about the rest of the body. In a sense, "judging" to see if someone is angry, bitter, or hurt...and making peace and restoration wherever it is possible! We need to speak the truth in love to each other...especially when it part of the body is mucked in obvious sin...but only for the reason of RESTORATION...not to verbally hack off limbs. I hope I'm making sense...it's early! Love you girl...you're right...the tone around the blogo-block has been less then truthfully kind lately, to say the least! Smiles and Kisses to you today!!

Jen said...

I think that it is important to remember that what is permissible for some is not permissible for others. For example, the show that your friend got blasted for watching -- this may not affect her in the same way that it would have affected something else. Some people must steer clear from all alcohol, others may not have that restriction. Everyone has different chains and we don't always know what will be a trap for some. If it is a trap for us, we sometimes take that to mean that it is bondage for anyone else. I think that if we keep our eyes on Jesus and not on everyone else, we can see more clearly when we are supposed to say something out of edification. God gives us the words to say and they usually come after some of our own soul-searching.

So glad you linked up today!

~Rain``` said...

Thanks Michelle. Thoughtfully written. Good reminders. Lots to mentally chew on.

Anonymous said...

Ouch. My toes.

I know I am guilty of this. It's a hard place to be but I learn so much when I step back and see...truly see.

One of the hardest things I have learned to deal with in the blog community is how some people treat others. It was shocking the first time I saw someone called out on something that they were just writing in fun about. We all have different convictions and views and when we start judging others by our own standards...we are the one that loses.

Great post and great reminder!

Mandy said...

Thanks for this post! I am guilty of this as much as anyone, though lately I have been very aware that God is calling us to more... and better. And I agree~ when did this become junior high again?! Facebook is exhausting to me for that very reason... I think Jen is right- keeping our eyes on Jesus helps us to see more clearly and to know what he would have us do in every situation.

Linda said...

Love this....sent you a message on FB. Blessings to you!!

Natalie at Mommy on Fire said...

What a beautiful reminder, Michelle. Thank you for this - I must constantly keep this in the forefront of my mind. The thing about the flesh is that we tend to see things just from a "me" angle - it's just how we were created. It's so hard to look past ourselves and our own needs yet this is precisely what Jesus wants for us. In doing so, we exemplify more trust in Him that He will provide for needs such as volunteers and we don't have to worry about what others watch, read, wear, do, etc. because WE are not God. Ultimately, it's between God and them. That's what I tell myself alot!

I love your heart, Michelle. :)

Emily @ rivendellchick said...

Whoa! I read this earlier this morning and have been thinking about it because this is a topic I ponder A LOT! My conclusion is that most foolish arguments among Christians are in the areas of how we apply the Word of God to our everyday lives. Although the same Holy Spirit abides in each of us, we each have different convictions which aren't always easy to respect. As long as it is not in direct violation of Scripture, we have to accept that they are living within Christian Freedom. However, as Bobbi pointed out there is the messy problem of us being commanded to hold one another accountable and even the possible necessity of church discipline, and of course testing the spirits by the fruit they bear.

There is a lot of damage done when believers are in strife with one another, and mostly because of our own pride and self-centered views.

Good job tackling a weighty topic! :)

CindyC said...

Well said. Sometimes what is thought of as "speaking the truth" leaves off the "in love" part.

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