Isn't that one of the worst feelings?
Walking by a few people and they start whispering and giggling. I'm thinking....Oh jeez, do I have a booger? Are my pants see-through? My zipper must be down!
Sometimes people judge others out loud, sometimes in their thoughts or with their friends.
What do you do? Lets say you see a woman walk by that is scantily dressed. At the grocery store. During the day.
Or there is a "thorn in your side" family member that says something again about their views on how homeschooling is ruining your children.
I know what I used to do. It wasn't nice.
Then one day God allowed me really listen to my thoughts and words when I was judging (who knows, maybe someone prayed that blessing for me!)
It wasn't pretty. Conviction is hard.
I really heard my words as they came out. It was weird.
Then the Holy Spirit spiritually highlighted a verse that I have read a billion times. You know Matthew 7: 1-2 (the judging verse).
Then He added on Luke 6: 31-36 (click on the link and then come back here) and what you have is this:
When a person enters our life with something we feel hatred towards or our goals are not in line with theirs (like the woman at the grocery store and the irritating family member) and you start to go there in your mind....you know, the judging part with nasty words attached to make it more colorful....
This is where you remember that you are dealing with someone who is lost, suffering, has strongholds, or doing the work of the enemy (we are not dealing with flesh and blood but the principalities of darkness...a.k.a. demons--Ephesians 6:12).
Now you have the upper hand. You know what you are up against.
Going back to the woman at the store. You see her. Your kids see her. Do you fall into sin by judging OR do you take your knowledge that the enemy is at work and you bless the other person instead?
Of course, you BLESS.
What?! (Yes, I can hear you).
But, that woman is half naked and my children are seeing this! How dare she?
She does because she is okay with it. Someone clearly gave her the message that her worth is based on her body or looks. That message is so ingrained, clothing options are not an issue. Heartbreaking, isn't it?
Here is what you do: Take your thoughts, turn them to Jesus (imagine you are sitting with Him) and pray for her (in your head). Pray that she sees the worth of who Jesus created her to be. Pray her eyes are open to truth and that Christ followers are brought into her life to shepard her. Pray what you feel led to pray.
Then, if your children have been exposed, talk to them after you are in the car. Discuss that even though her clothing was inappropriate, she needs Jesus. Badly. Explain that you can tell because the way she dressed was a symptom of how she struggles. Then as a family pray for her.
Right there in the minivan.
You are modeling to your children how to bless a struggling stranger with words rather than judging them. You are teaching empathy.
Now that is awesome parenting.
But, wait. What if your kids were not with you? Then you do not share this with them. If you do, that turns into gossip.
Trust me, there will be plenty more opportunities that come into your life.
Now, what about your family member that loves to tell you how your parenting skills stink?
Ugh. Those are tough, right? They are in your face.
This one takes a slightly different approach.
Your secret weapon here? Pray your blessing before you see them. Pray that this family member sees truth, that if they start up they can hear themselves talking and hear the ugly that comes with their words. Pray for strength and wisdom to handle yourself with grace and not fall into sin with your ugly thoughts or words.
It's okay to set boundaries and ask that person not to comment on your parenting unless you ask for advice. This can be done with a kind tone.
So now you know the secret weapon: Pray for blessings.
But you can only bless when you focus on Jesus. He loves that woman at the grocery store and your relative. He wants them to feel love not rejection. You are His mouthpiece as they cannot or will not hear Him where they are in life.
When you pray for others, you will soon seen the condition of you year. Is it praying with pride? Is there condescending tones? If so, ask God to help you in those area and to pray with a clean heart with good intentions.
Be that blessing that they do not deserve, by earthly standards.
Will the people you bless by praying suddenly see the error of their ways? Maybe not.
Your prayers are not just about them. They are about you. Your heart. Your relationship with God. They are to grow you in ways you didn't know you needed to grow.
Be obedient in doing what is right, but the final outcome is between God and them. If you see no spiritual fruit in those other people, that's okay. Doing what is right will not always show on this side of life for them. But they will for you.
Meditate on the scriptures I highlighted above and ask God to show you who you have been judging (write down who comes to mind). Ask for forgiveness and ask God how you can bless those people with your words instead (write those ideas down too).
I am excited for you to try this secret weapon out. Notice how you feel afterwards. I think you will be pleasantly surprised.
Cheering you on,