Monday, April 06, 2009

ugly confession.JUDGEMENT.

It was a tough day in church for me yesterday. And actually, it isn’t the first time I’ve walked away with head full of thoughts & heart heavy with the sin of judgement.

It’s no secret that I’m human. And many times I’d like the change the saying “I think, therefore I am.” To “I think, therefore I JUDGE.” Because the truth is that I do. I look at the beggar on the streetcorner & fail to consider his past, his feelings, his hunger for something greater than food. I look at the morbidly obese woman who waddles into the office & my mind usually reverts to the stereotypical thoughts of “laziness”; in fact, I often find myself wondering how she let herself go that far. I see the rambunctious kids tearing down the magazines in the checkout aisle in front of me & judge the mother trying to “shoosh” them—often failing to consider the circumstances of their lives: the father they might have just lost, the stresses they might feel at home around a scantily clad dinner table.

I know that God calls us to be pure of heart, to love our neighbor as we love ourselves, to not judge, not covet, not want … but it is one area of my life I seem to have trouble with. Yesterday mornings' church service drove the point home…again.

Our church has two campuses—one is at the main campus & offers a more “southern gospel” style of praise music with a big (HUGE!) choir & lots of jumping in the aisles; the other (the one we attend) gives a more contemporary style & feel—it is housed in an old movie theater. The alternative service beckons a younger crowd—many college students & couples with young children.

Yesterday morning, the girl in front of us—barely thirty, if I had to guess—was obviously enjoying the presence of the Lord…by screaming. I have trouble closing my eyes & concentrating on worshiping the Lord in the first place (I like to watch the musicians)…but her jumping up & down wasn’t helping. Then, when she let out a scream that would have been better placed at a High School Musical performance from the mouth of a 13-year-old-Zack-Effron-crazed-fan, I really lost my ability to concentrate. Add to that the girl, also seated in the row ahead of us, who praised Jesus by swinging her hips like those of nightclub dancers…and I was really distracted.

The truth, though, is that I’ve let those screams & swinging hips distract me from more than praise during church. I’ve let the world’s distractions—clothes, houses, the internet, striving for the cultural standard of perfection—keep me from concentrating on the One True God.

I’m finding that I either need Spiritual earplugs or time away from distraction…

This week I’m trying the latter.

What people are you most prone to judging? When & in what situations do you find it most difficult to love people for who they are, despite all external circumstances? In what areas of your life could you use a pair of Heavenly Earplugs (or sunglasses??!)??

{be back after Easter…}

1 comment:

Brianna said...

Wow you seem to always center in on my own thoughts. For me I have been struggling with fellow Christians who outright express their judgement on others. I always say that the meaning of being a Christian is knowing that "we" are sinners, that we all fail everyday, that we all will never be perfect. It is knowing and believing that we need God to get us through this life. Thankfully though we serve a God who is so loving, and forgiving. Yet, I can sympathiize with the feelings of feeling so selfish, so distracted from the way that God wants us to be. Sometimes I look at myself, and just feel so evil with all my faults, but God always consoles my heart... and I feel so blessed, and thankful. I think that it is good to step back and evaulate our shortcomings, that is what God wants us to do, and it helps us to try to do better. God's promises are new everyday, aren't we so lucky!

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