Tendency to Judge, Part 3
This is the last installment of THIS topic (Whew!! I don’t think my toes can take much more of this one.) If you’re just joining us, we’re discussing this article by Reb Bradley. You’re not too late – go read it and jump right in!!
It is important to note that when pride is working its work in us, we sincerely believe our personal opinions reflect God’s utmost priorities and standards.
This one is really hard for me. It almost sounds like he is saying that there is no standards of Truth to be found in the Word. Almost. I do believe that there are standards that the Lord holds as best that we must be defenders of. He goes on to say, what I believe to be the key to understanding what he’s saying:
We validate ourselves since we know we keep those standards and by the same standards, others are validated (or in…) in our eyes, as well. A self validating person is justified in their own eye and in the eyes of those with whom they fellowship. What we believe to be our “enlightened” perspective becomes a filter by which we gauge others’ spirituality, and therefore limit our options for fellowship.
OH MY! I have been SO guilty of this! I can sit here right now and think of a family that I held at arm’s length because of the choices that they were making. They were a missionary family home on leave. While they were on the mission field, they sent their children away to boarding school. When they went on leave, I was SO glad, as this would afford them the opportunity to teach their children at home and enjoy the relationships that they were missing, by their being away at boarding school. They did not. They put them in public school as soon as they arrived in town. Because of that decision, I waited months before welcoming them to town. I am ashamed of my choice. I have repented and I did go befriend them before they left, but there were many wasted months because of my heart attitude.
There are several serious consequences of raising children in a home marked by pride and judgement:
a. They may learn from our example. When they point out to us the parenting mistakes, shortcomings or spiritual blindness of others, do we correct them for their arrogance or do we affirm them for their “insights”?
b. If they do not learn to judge others, from our bad example, it may be because they fear our judgements of them. …they hide their real values from us. We mustn’t be surprised if they act like they embrace our values during their teen years, when in fact, they are simply seeking to avoid our discipline and lectures.
c. It is also possible that they see the shallowness of our “religion” and are not attracted in the least.
One word: UGH. We are in the “interesting” position of living next door to 2 families that are making life choices that are very different from our own. This has caused many strongly opinionated discussions in our home. (I bet that comes as a surprise, right? That we’d any of us have strong opinions??!!) It has been hard to keep my thoughts to myself and speak only reminders of the need to be kind and not judge them. I find that once the “father” next door starts screaming and swearing and making my daughters cry because of the way he is responding to his little girl, my ability to not judge falters GREATLY. I must commend Apple, from Process, for the huge help that she has been to me in this arena. She blogged about talking to her children before going to her husband’s work picnic.* Her wisdom and graciousness pierced my heart. I have been challenged to emulate the Christlikeness she presented. I have a long way to go. (Although you won’t find she has blogged about this, polimommy has also exemplified this in the things we have shared IRL.)
Reb Bradley’s final words on this subject:
By its very nature, pride acts as a filter for our thinking and therefore, our perceptions. So, I pray, even at this moment, that God will open our blind eyes and bring freedom to us all. If we are able to leave a judgmental outlook behind, we increase the likelihood of our children finding in us the beauty of our Savior, Jesus.
To which I reply, AMEN!!!!!
*I am trying to find the specific blog, so you can be as blessed as I was – I’ll post the link when I find it. My Littlest Little is requiring my attention at this time, though, so it won’t be for a little bit.