Without going into detail, I have been struggling recently with judgement. I strive to be a good person, but I definitely sin in my thoughts on a daily basis, especially in today’s world where it has become permissible to flaunt your entire life on social media. Things that were once taboo in polite conversation are now proudly posted for the world to see. This is both good and bad. As a young mother, there are a lot of topics we share openly about that my mother’s generation would have kept to themselves. As a widow, I have been able to search all kinds of things on the internet, connect with other widows on social media and know that I am not alone. Still, I think it is time to break away from my social media habit when more often than not I find myself scrolling through people’s posts and thinking, “Really? Now that is just asking for it!”
When I start to cast judgement upon someone, I first try to think how I would feel if I were in their position and then recognize that their position and background is not my own. This weekend, the girls and I are heading to Amarillo, Texas to cheer on Taylor’s dad and sister in the Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association (CMSA) World Championship. Taylor was a World Rifle Champion in CMSA and when I first started attending shoots with him, I was always self-conscious of how I might be judged in the world of horse people.
There is a saying that the platypus is proof that God has a sense of humor. I think the good Lord also showed a little humor when he put together a CMSA world champion and rancher with a girl who is deathly allergic to horses, cattle and the outdoors in general. When Taylor and I met I was living in Fort Worth with my best friend, Lauren. She likes to recall how she knew I had met “the one” as soon as I came home and told her about our first date. Taylor invited me to drive out to Granbury to the home of dear friends he met through CMSA who he lovingly referred to as his Texas Parents. While he lived in Fort Worth, he kept his horses at their place and wanted to take me riding for the afternoon. Wanting to seem cool and up for anything, I said “yes” and stuffed my small Louis Vuitton crossbody with two epi-pens, a pack of Benadryl, my inhaler and tripled up on my daily allergy pill. I was already in love.
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?”Matthew 7:1-3
Our first date went well and I don’t remember now when I finally broke the news to Taylor about my allergies. He would often joke about what a relief it actually was that they prevented me from getting into what can be an expensive passion. Taylor enjoyed the competition and comradery of cowboy mounted shooting and was often the center of attention, entertaining everyone around him with stories and jokes. When I would come with Taylor to shoots, it usually meant having so much Benadryl in my system that it was a fight to keep my eyes open or force a smile. It always made me insecure to think that people who only knew me around horses would think I was a complete dud. I always hoped they would at least assume that if Taylor picked me, then surely there was more to me than just the impression I might give off while heavily medicated in a horse arena.
I’ve gotten over this fear of how others might perceive me. Part of it is age, but I think that when you intentionally focus on not judging others, you also worry less if they might be judging you. Like all of God’s commands, the call to not judge is not an enforcement of authority, but a gift given out of His love for us. I don’t know about you, but I certainly have enough on my shoulders without having to unnecessarily worry about others. God isn’t just taking that worry off of our plates, but telling us we shouldn’t be serving it in the first place. Judgement is simply not our responsibility. We can rest safely assured that God will take care of that for us and we can focus on leading the best lives we can.
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