I’m so guilty of living a life that I’ve judged others for living. Living a life filled with sin and moments of straying from my walk with God. Yesterday I was called out on my judgement of what others wear, while not necessarily following the modesty guidelines I’ve set for myself. It’s hot so I’m wearing less clothing and not really caring if I’m showing too much skin because I justify what I’m wearing with the unbearable weather. While at the same time judging a fellow Christian for wearing something similar to what I’m wearing.
It isn’t right. I’m judging. I’m living a life that could be a stumbling block to someone else. I am not living in a way that honors the Lord or represents my ministry well. I’m being a major hypocrite by living with so many double standards.
So I’m grateful for being called out on my hypocrisy. And I’m grateful for this morning’s sermon talking about living a life that not filled with judgement but filled with the love and principles of Christ. Being a Christian without being nasty and judgemental, not being a Pharisee.
Let’s continue this journey together by holding each other accountable using the love of Christ.
Our current situation is rather unique, as in we are all dealing with this global pandemic together in one way or another. Instead of bickering and clinging to our own opinions we should all be working together to seek truth and comfort. As Christians we are not called to be gullible and easily fooled. We are called to be truth seekers filled with discernment. While social media is abundantly saturated in a never-ending stream of conspiracy theories, we need to be seeking the truth. We need to be seeking out reputable sources, sources that do not completely obliterate the government. We need to seek sources that are truthful and abstain from engaging and sharing in theoretical and nonsensical garbage. We need to believe the best.
Empathy, love, care, and compassion have completely flown out the window. Instead, we are scarfing down and regurgitating whatever conspiracy morsel finds itself on our Facebook timelines or in our inbox. We are so caught up in catching the government in a mega scandal. Friends and family, I urge you to reconsider your hastiness in pressing the “share” button on a post to a news article link that is doing nothing but spreading misinformation and slander. Seek the truth from reputable sources. Sources like the CDC website.
What if instead of spreading lies, we pray? Pray for the techs, nurses, and doctors who are witnessing this pandemic first hand. Pray for all of those currently hospitalized, or fighting this at home quarantined from loved ones. Pray for every single person that has been effected by this pandemic. We need to remember that for a lot of people this is a devastatingly tragic time, where as for most of us, it is just an inconvenience.
I thrive in the demanding daily craziness and the distractions of my normal. My normal consists of working a demanding job, serving in student ministry and children’s ministry at my church, working one on one mentoring three young women, and running a young women’s ministry Bible study….oh and I am also in a very committed relationship to my amazing boyfriend who also works a demanding job and is in school full time.
I love my normal. It means I don’t need to think. I don’t have time to think. I don’t have time to sit down or eat or breathe. It’s a constant go go go.
This normal I claim to love so much and that I desperately cling to is not healthy. It isn’t healthy and it isn’t sustainable. In this normal I am stressed 24/7. I am relying on myself and not the Lord. And I’m never alone with myself. Working with my psych with my PTSD, anxiety, and myriad of other things I began to realize that I pack my schedule with these mentally and physically demanding tasks so I don’t have to feel. I don’t ever have to be alone with my feelings if I have a constant rotating door of distractions.
Five weeks ago I was laid off and since then I’ve been intentionally trying to begin healthy habits for my mental health. I haven’t been as successful as I would like to be, but I’m trying. I’m trying to be alone with myself. I am trying to cling to the Lord in the midst of a panic attack or the pit of depression. And even though I haven’t been 100% successful in my attempts, I’m just so glad I have begun this new journey of not drowning in distractions.
I’m hard wired to put others before myself. To a fault.
My automatic response to “How are you?” is to immediately respond with “I’m fine.” and change the topic to the other person. I’m probably not fine. I’m most likely swimming in a sea of spastic thoughts that can’t contain or regulate themselves. But I can’t let you know that, and I certainly can’t let you in.
It’s a disorganized mess in here. It’s chaos. It’s negative. It’s ugly. I can control what parts you see by never letting you in. I have it down to a science.
This brings me to honesty. It’s crucial in a relationship. You fundamentally need honesty and trust. They go hand in hand. I trust that my partner will be honest and open with me. And he expects the same of me.
I haven’t been that honest and open person in my relationship. I automatically hide my emotions and feelings and thoughts if I think they are going to cause a fight because I’m hurt about something I haven’t communicated to him or what I am feeling would cause my partner to be hurt. But in doing this, I have only been hurting him more. With each “I’m fine.” I have been building a wall. Layer after layer, lie after lie. I have been building a wall between us. We can’t function with this wall between us. It’s an impossible task that can’t work unless I let him in.
So begins my journey to honesty. Honesty with my partner. Honesty with myself. I will tear down this wall that I built and cultivate trust in my relationship.
Ephesians 4:25 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all one body.
Luke 6:31 Do unto others as you would have them do to you.
Proverbs 12:22 The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in people who are trustworthy.
I have held it together for so long I forget what it means to not put on a façade. I hold it together until my breathing is shallow and quick and the walls close in around me and I’m on the floor in a panic attack. I hold it together so the outside world doesn’t know that inside I’m a ball of crippling anxiety and depression.
Holding it together isn’t what God is asking of me. He isn’t asking for perfection. He is asking for surrender.
I’ve been drowning for years in a state of constant struggle for perfection. Hiding what is really going on because no one can know that every aspect of my life isn’t held together and everything isn’t perfectly in it’s place. And I’m going to die as completely tense and panic filled as I lived if I do not learn to surrender my thoughts, my actions, my way of living, my everything…to the Lord.