When I was a working mom, I felt constantly judged. Each time I had a conversation with a stay-at-home mom, I felt the need to explain that we were praying for a way for me to stay at home, but financially it was impossible. If I didn’t explain, I feared they would think I didn’t love my children.
When I began staying at home, I felt the need to let working moms know that I worked at one time too. I feared they would feel judged by me if I didn’t explain myself.
The moment someone asks where our kids go to school, I fight the urge to explain why we’ve chosen the path we’ve chosen. I feel judged. Or I fear they will feel judged.
And then the moment, as a working mom, when you encounter a stay-at-home mom, and you describe your stress at the office, and they say, “At least you get a break.” And you bite your tongue because you know what you are sacrificing when you are away. And it gnaws at you everyday. You want to explain your family’s unique situation or your calling, but you hold back. And you walk away feeling judged.
And then the moment as a stay-at-home mom you vent your frustrating week, and someone says to you, “Just imagine if you worked.” And you bite your tongue and want to explain all the intricate details of your life because you suddenly see how little they know about you. And you feel judged.
I’ve never felt more judged than I do during this season. I have people in my life who are clueless about why I do what I do. I have people reading my heart spilled on paper. I feel judged. I have the world’s strongest-willed child who displays his power at the most inopportune times. My kids fail to become my clone, and they display their free will and uniqueness. All.the.time. I feel judged.
If I’m honest, really honest here, I don’t have much time to judge anyone else because I’m too busy thinking about myself! It’s human nature. We are prideful. We think of ourselves more than anything else all day long. We are so prideful that we think others are spending as much time thinking about us as we spend thinking about us. Well, they aren’t.
Life is hard, and we want the world to ease up on us. We feel the pressure of watchful eyes, and we just want to scream out, “You don’t understand my life! Stop judging me!” At least that is how I feel many days. I’m not proud of this. But it’s the truth.
At every turn there is reason to judge and be judged. The most common comment of the opposing views to my electronics post was “Stop judging.” This summer it seemed that bloggers were constantly posting messages that begged us to all stop judging.
I’m going to offer up a different perspective. Instead of focusing on wanting others to stop judging, let’s stop allowing ourselves to be judged. It takes 2 to go to trial. A judge with no one to judge has no case. The case begins in our own hearts and minds. We have a choice whether we enter the courtroom or not. Let’s not go there.
If we really want change, it starts inside our own hearts and heads. It’s not outside of us. It’s not hoping others will stop judging. It’s inside of us the true battle wages. We must not allow ourselves to be judged.
Changing the world happens one heart and life at a time. Right here in our own hearts. We can stop allowing ourselves to feel judged. Just because we feel it doesn’t mean it’s true. Just because we feel judged at the park by the mom playing tag with her child while we read emails doesn’t mean she is judging us. We have got to stop being so defensive. Just because a friend shared an article on Facebook that broadcasts a message opposite our own beliefs doesn’t mean she is sitting behind her computer screen judging and thinking about us personally.
Colossians 2:16 “Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day.”
Notice the instruction to not let anyone judge you.
We are only judged if we allow ourselves to be judged. Don’t let anyone judge you.
At the same time we stop allowing ourselves to be judged, we stop judging others. We all do it. It’s hard to admit, but it’s true. We don’t want to be judged, yet we judge. We are going to make a radical shift in our hearts. We will stop allowing ourselves to be judged. AND. We are going to ask God to prick our heart each time a judging thought enters our mind.
Matthew 7:1 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.
There is peace found in living a quiet life in our hearts. If we feel constantly judged, then we are spending too much time thinking about ourselves. That’s an unhealthy place to live mentally and emotionally.
Our family celebrated the end of summer at the beach a few weeks ago. I took notice of the way the thousands and thousands of shells piled on top of each other revealing a stunning picture. Some shells were more worn and weathered than others. Some appeared perfectly intact. Some were eye catching colors. Some more plain and ordinary. But together they were stunning.
Your jagged edges, paired with her smooth finish, laid on top of her weathered undersides is a stunning display of God’s masterpiece.
We are all doing the best we can. Life looks different for everyone. Choices for one woman look different than another’s. Family life won’t look the same from home to home. And that is more than ok.
At the end of this life, there is only one Judge who matters.
I want to live a life for the only Judge that matters.
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