It's tough to not give into defensiveness when someone criticizes a choice you've made. Especially when your kids are involved. And usually, when you get a group of moms together, the varied opinions often have to do with mothering or parenting or children...and no one is hardly ever the same on these issues.
I've had a few zingers thrown my way lately. And they shouldn't bother me because they attack a decision I have grown full confidence in. But they still sting. It's almost as if God was trying to teach me a lesson thru all of it, though. Because, just recently, I have been guilty of throwing zingers of my own. Toward those completely unaware of it.
Why do we feel the need to criticize and condemn another believer's journey?
In my own experience, I find that I do it most when:
- I feel like my own journey is under attack
- I feel the need to reveal the truth to the "clueless" (and trust me, this is truly a flawed motive!!)
- The ugly green monster of jealousy begins to sprout a new head
I knew it was ugly and I prayed about it in church--because when you're caught in sin, the Spirit moves your heart to a place of burden, and I surely have sinned as I sit and point fingers. The only thing the judged was clueless about was my own criticism. [Now, I am talking about Godly people here...Godly people doing things that aren't ungodly, just different.]
Having just felt the attack of others on me, God showed me something about my own guilty zingers:
He'll lead others in their journey, even if it's different than my own.
GASP! You mean my journey isn't the only way? You mean there are other ways to live this short life? Obviously, if others can find flaws in my journey, than perhaps it's not the only way...but really...is there anything on this earth that is perfect? Besides You Know Who...
Just because I don't agree with someone's journey, and I feel like it's an antithesis to my own, doesn't mean that God isn't there and that they are led astray...and goodness, they DON'T need ME to enlighten them!
Isn't it wonderful that the journeys God has placed us all on, are unique, and He will reveal Himself and His ways in completely DIFFERENT facets of life and decisions?
Seriously--my shoulders are lighter today. When we take on the burden as Judge, our broken human bodies aren't ready for the load. Thank God for the yoke-bearer in Jesus!
As for those who've criticized my journey--why do I even care? I am confident, at peace, and actually excited about its direction. They are probably clueless that it hurt me, and that's where I need to give them Grace. Grace is a precious ointment, isn't it?
I gotta remember that Jesus slathered it on my own heart, and will give me extra large doses to give
Grace. It's the best part of this journey...and it's the SAME for everyone!