I was recently asked how I am doing, told I say so little of myself. That is not too surprising, my husband and child are my entire world so I talk about them constantly! It is also indicative of the fact that I have been in processing mode for a while. The Lord is doing a work on my heart and helping me to change aspects of an unhealthy mindset.
I am most ashamed of my hidden judgmental nature. Allow me to clarify that. This mindset of judgment was hidden to me.
I have been made aware of what I ‘should’ be my entire life, from church members who knew how we should behave but then thought us haughty or self-righteous for trying to, to the more concrete rules for living laid out by parents, teachers, and pastors.
There was so much ‘should’ and ‘should not’ in my life that I felt the sum of it was solid plan for living that was applicable to anyone. I did not feel that it was some plan I had formulated, but God himself. What I did not realize was that this left no room for the work of the Lord in the individual lives of people.
In a sense I walked away with a cookie-cutter idea of Christianity and entirely missed some very important aspects indeed.
I never felt that I was a judgmental person because I tend to get along easily. I thought that people may be whatever they believe God wants them to be… or I believed I thought that. The raised eyebrows or exchanged looks with others when a person was visibly different than my perception of ‘right’ indicated exactly the opposite was true in my heart.
This is a long topic, so I can see I will have to broach it in smaller snippets but suffice it to say that I had standards, preferences, and convictions completely confused. I mistakenly thought all were one and the same. It took years to realize that preferences were not the same thing as convictions, and that standards can come from either without being a direct command from God.
I am praying that the Lord will keep this process going. In the meantime, my sincere apologies to anyone I have offended or been judgmental toward. I realize now that it is easy to say amen when the pastor tells us that God loved the sinner, but it is harder for some reason to extend that same grace to our brothers and sisters in Christ who differ from us in thought, dress or lifestyle. Indeed, sometimes we forget that we are still sinners ourselves.
Salvation did not take away anything but your ticket to hell (and hopefully the desire to sin). The rest of our life is a continual process of growth and change, especially when it comes to our relationship with the Lord. <3