Years ago, back when I was a man, my new twelve-year-old doctor convinced me to go on a whole-food, plant-based diet. And while technically I am no longer a man because I don’t eat meat, dairy products, or anything with oil in it, I must confess it has been one of the best decisions Shannon has ever forced me to make. It has changed my life for the better, but it does have its drawbacks.
One night our neighbors called. They had smoked a few racks of ribs and wanted us to have one. They did not know of my strange eating habits because, just like any man, I was ashamed to tell them. That’s when I had to make one of the hardest confessions of my life.
I wanted to say, “Let me explain. I am not a hippie who likes eating wheat grass. I’m doing this for my health.” Instead, I said nothing. The shame was overwhelming. I felt judged.
This got me thinking.
Part of me operates out of an understanding of judging others or feeling as if I am being judged. This is a very dysfunctional way of living life.
As far as judging others, our culture has taught us to do this by appearance, political/social clout, age, education, clothing, vehicles, the size of a bank account, who is a sinner, who is a saint, the list goes on and on….
The problem with judging others, is it can come back to bite us because as we are judging others, they are judging us. Besides, the only one who’s opinion really matters is the One who loves you enough to die for you and that’s exactly what happened.
Jesus said, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Matthew 7:1-2)
As you meet the challenges and people of this new day, be careful about judging others and my prayer is when God sees the way we live, God smiles.
Prayer: Dear Gracious Heavenly God, remind me the only opinion that matters is yours. And when I am tempted to judge others, let me remember you love them the exact same way you love me. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Judging others, or worry that others are judging us, is a complete waste of time and energy.
The One who matters looks at you through the lens of love, grace, and mercy. I pray each of us does the same.
Also, just for the record, when I turned down my neighbor’s barbequed ribs, they didn’t judge me. They wanted to know all about eating a whole-food, plant-based diet.
Once I explained it to them, they didn’t judge me, but I could tell they felt very sorry for me. So do I.
I pray your day is filled with joy and laughter.