by lynn gipson
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It seems all of my life I felt judgment. Not by all but by many. When I was little I felt the judgment of my teachers when I would show up at school in wrinkled clothes or no socks on my feet in the winter time. I felt the judgment of peers because the houses I lived in were old and dilapidated. Then there was self judgment, I always compared myself to others. I was my own worst critic.
I also felt the judgment of my family. I had developed a sense of self by seeing myself through otherís eyes. If they thought I was good, then I thought I was good. More often, however, people seemed to think I was bad, so I thought I was not worthy of anything.
I canít remember really judging others as a child. Iím sure I must have, but I donít recall ever really thinking about it. I just accepted people pretty much as they were, and those I loved, I forgave. Life was hard enough thinking about how bad I was, I didnít have much time to take others personal inventory.
When I got older I began to judge with a vengeance. Resentment and anger from feeling judged spilled over into my relationships, and I began to point the finger at others to justify my own actions. I learned to blame, and that is how I pretty much felt until Jesus woke me up one night in a hospital room and saved my life. I mean literally saved my life, and then my soul.
Before I was saved though, I knew a few Christians in my life. Some I could actually feel a presence about them I now know was Christ. They didnít go around proclaiming to be Christians with their mouths, but rather with their grace towards others. They were warm and genuine. Others who claimed to be Christians had only empty air around them, and their eyes belied their words. I could tell right away they were what my grandmother would call Sunday Morning Christians. (She was a tad judgmental at times). Those are what are known less kindly as hypocrites.
I donít want to be a hypocrite. I want the presence. I want the grace. I want to be able to look at people through the eyes of Jesus and tell them I love them, and mean it. I want them to see the Christ in me and want what I have. I want the lost to know how they can be found.
I am working on all this and more. I believe in my heart from my own life experiences that you donít judge another unless you have walked in their worn out shoes. Sometimes people, through circumstances beyond their control at the time, have taken the wrong path because the right path was not available to them.
Like my ex husband, who I resented for years, until I gave my life to Jesus. He was an abused child to the extent of having his hand placed in boiling water and other things too horrible to mention. I never took any of that into consideration while I seethed for years in anger towards him. Now I see how he could have the way he was, and he did not choose his childhood. Please understand I am not making excuses for him, he later chose the wrong paths, as sinners do. Sadly, he died last year without knowing Christ, so I prayed for Godís mercy, and I asked Him to take all of this into consideration when judging his soul.
If I am chosen to sit on a jury to decide whether or not someone is guilty of a crime, I will look at the evidence and if it shows me someone has done a wrong, I will cast a vote of guilty. Therefore I have judged the actions of another person as a sin against society and God, but I cannot judge their soul. Only God can do that.
As far as judging a non believer, I know in my heart that Jesus said no one can get to the father except through Him, but I cannot condemn someone elseís soul to hell because I donít really know how Jesus might already be working in that personís life. I can only tell the non believer what I know to be the truth of Christ, and through my love and grace for them, they will see the evidence.
All of these things are written by a relatively new Christian. Any misjudgments are my own. I was not raised in a Christian home and my writings are about what I perceive to be what Jesus has put on my heart to write about. Every person in the world has a different soul and can only bring to the table their own experiences and the blessings Christ has revealed to that soul.
May my perceptions always be of GodĎs will, and may He forgive me of any misjudgments.
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