I usually write about the things I am struggling with/ things that I learned about God. But the difference in the things that I have been going through lately, I don’t want anyone to know. I want to keep secret, why? Shame. I am more than ashamed, I am riddled with shame. I don’t just feel a bit embarrassed, I feel horrified, of all the things in the world why does that have to be my story? Why out of all the infinite ways God has at his disposal to teach, correct, love me and draw me to him, why does he have to use that?
Why do I have to experience or go through that? And shame makes you hide, it makes you try to cover your self, it makes you want to disappear into the wall, or ground or abyss. Why would anyone want to love me, with that in my background and current struggles? Why would anyone want to be anywhere near me? Because yes I am hidden in Christ, and I don’t need to be ashamed of my sin because Jesus paid for it all, but why do I still want to hide?
Another reason I haven’t written is that I don’t have the answers I normally do in a post. I have no conclusions, I have no tied in a nice bow. I have my messy life, my sinful nature, an incredible saviour and a laptop, and they don’t always lead to closure. But God doesn’t want to me approach issues in this way all the time, because whose life is tied up in a nice bow? Whose struggles have a clear and defining answer? Some however do, when it comes to suicide the bible is clear of how to approach this (and society says the exact same thing). Other things, however, like how to approach mental health in general, or same-sex attraction, although the bible is very clear in somethings, culture and the Christian world, in general, will disagree, is no defining answer of how to deal with these things. And through all the differing beliefs, we forget to love as Jesus loves us. We become use to judging people, being mean and harsh. We forget that regardless of your world view (and I make my beliefs very clear), we have a lot to learn with how to love others. Yes, I believe Jesus is the only way to fully be in touch with your humanity (I know most of the world disagrees). But saying this some churches out there are way more judgemental than those who are non-Christians.
I’ve had the joy to be in churches every part of this spectrum. I’ve been part of churches that it’s okay to be not okay, it’s ok to not have it all together, it’s okay, to be honest with others. And I’ve been in churches that are very judgemental. God calls us all to put down our weapons, put down our assumptions, leave our grenades at home. And just love others.
Saying this non-Christians can be very judgemental to Christians (not all, the vast majority of my friends aren’t). I this comes from the judgment they receive from churches, what their preconceived notion of Christianity is. I would challenge all non-Christians to do what I’ve told Christians to do. Leave your weapons at the door. Yes, we want you to enter into a relationship with Jesus because we know how incredible it is, but I want to love you anyway. I want to love you regardless of whether you are very interested or not at all. Because the goal of my friendship is to love you as Jesus loves us. Yes, I would love you to know him as your creator and saviour but the goal of my friendship isn’t conversion. And I think that is very important for me to say.
Things like suicide happen very prevalently with individuals who don’t believe they belong in our world (I was one of them, and in my darkest moments I still am). Those who have their struggles broadcasted for the world to see, where individuals who hide behind computer screens, and terrorize those who forget they also struggle, those who forget that they actually have the same struggles. Judgemental attitudes actually ruin lives.
But this doesn’t happen just in the cyber-space, it happens with bullies and kids in school, the workspace, friendship groups, in our hearts. We often have judgments about people that we would never tell anyone. But God sees it all. Jesus tells us in Matthew 5: 22-26, “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder (Exodus 20:13) and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister (the greek refers to a fellow disciple) will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ (an Aramaic word for contempt) is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.”
This is very clearly saying there is no room for judgment in the church.
I am saying this to myself too, as some who can be very judgemental in my mind, I need to hear this. It’s okay to admit that we struggle with these things, it’s not okay to accept it as a part of who we are. We are not our judgment. We are made in the image of God, we live in a fallen world. And we tend to have a bent to certain sin struggles, but they aren’t who we are.
I was having this conversation the other day with a family member, if we make a part of our sin struggle, our identity, it minimises the chance we have to actually grow in that area.
And everyone regardless of who you deserve respect and dignity. And deserves to be heard without judgment.