“Be curious, not judgmental.” Walt Whitman

Have you ever wondered what happen to your old friends? Well thankfully someone created a social network that allows you to reconnect with ALL your old buddies! That same website happens to be very popular, so popular that I might be the very last person on earth to finally join! The great thing is I got to reconnect with a lot of my old buddies, and I really like that about social media.

I found that social media has really awakened my curiosity and I have been scrolling through pages of pictures and in some cases I’ve caught myself being a little judgey.

I know you ladies might not be guilty of looking at pictures of people and thinking, “Oh My Gosh, so-and-so is so_______ now!  It’s only natural to notice that someone has changed in some way since high school, but it’s when I find myself making assumptions or giggling in condemnation about the condition of someone else’s life, that I feel the chastisement of the scripture, Matt.7;1-3 “Judge not that ye be not judged. For with what judgement ye judge: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considers not the beam that is in thine own eye?”

I don’t know about you but those verses are heavy in my ears! How easy is it for us to look at someone else and mentally, or even verbally pick them apart? We judge other Mothers on how they look, how they parent, how their kids look, if they yell too much or not enough. We judge other women on how quickly they lose the baby weight, or how put together she looks during morning drop off at school.

We judge other Christians on how well they know the scriptures or how they dress, is her skirt long enough? Is her top cut too low, because we all know how much God hates it when we show cleavage and make all the men lust! (Sarcastic eye roll.)  By show of hands how many times have you been guilty of one of these things?   You can’t see me, but I’m shaking my head up and down sayin, “um-hum, I thought so.”

News Flash!!! We all do it, whether it’s out loud or in our minds, we all are guilty of being judgmental every now and then. I can’t say that curiosity always leads to being judgey, but I can tell you that if we are not careful we can quickly go from being curious about something to being judgmental. What I’ve learned is that we never want to be judged negatively for our transgressions, but we as a people have to constantly be reminded that we need to show some grace and mercy. We can have so much mercy and understanding when we sin, but we can’t even buy some grace when someone trespasses against us.

I think it’s totally human to forget that we ourselves are flawed, and that we needed a savior and a redeemer too. I asked myself how can I judge someone else when I’m a hot mess on any given day? The answer is simple, it’s easier to point out what’s wrong with someone else’s life than to change what’s broken in my own life. I think in many ways we try to make ourselves feel better by tearing down those whom we feel are better off than we are. I read a quote that said, “Hurting people, hurt people.” Wow, I could not agree more! For some reason people who are hurt or disappointed with their own lives tend to be harsh critics of others.

While that quote may not be true of every person who’s hurting and broken, it does seem like if you really dig deep enough into what is really the root of mean-spirited, malicious, gossip, or hateful, judgmental words, it’s a misguided attempt to deflect the pain and trauma that they feel in their own life. I can’t tell you how many times I have seen other mothers at the park and because of my own short comings or insecurities, felt like I was less than and in my heart, not out loud, I found some small thing to criticize them about.

Before you judge me picture this, have you ever been in line at the store and overheard a conversation between a mother and her child that made you cringe? Have you ever heard something that made you want to turn around and give your unsolicited advice? How about when you’re at the park and you see a child having a tantrum and thought that if you were that child’s mother you would handle the whole situation better? You know, because you’re the best mother in the world and there is no way that your child would ever do that to you. (Insert dramatic look coupled with a over-the -top eye roll.)

As women we have to be very careful that we don’t attack one another over our differences. We must try to make a conscious effort to celebrate our differences, no matter if it’s our parenting styles or lifestyle choices. We really are stronger together because a house divided against itself can not stand. One of my very best friends has a deeply set belief that yelling at children is very damaging to their self-esteem.  I on the other hand am a yeller!! I never try to yell mean things at my kids and tear them down, but I do yell, so whenever I go around here I feel self conscious and loud. I always start to have these crazy thoughts that start out at Insecure road and travel all the way over to Whose kids are better drive.

I fond that what would happen is I would convince myself that because our parenting styles were different that one of us was a better mother than the other. At several different times, I would try to act is if I had stopped yelling and become like her. This would confuse my children because they knew the real me and would always tell the truth whenever I tried to pretend that I was a sweet talking, non-yelling, whispering Mommy! I’ll let you just imagine how that scenario went down! My kids would look at me like they were staring at a stranger!! I would be sweetly talking to them through gritted teeth, and rubbing their arm! All while on the inside a scream was bubbling up inside my chest and rumbling around like a caged tiger! Worst of all, they would literally ignore every attempt that I would make to get their attention so that we could leave the park or playground, where ever we happen to be.  It got to the point where I could not  pretend to be her because both my children and I needed me to be Torre.

I could no longer suppress who I was and be her friend at the same time, I had to embrace who God called me to be so that my family could get what they needed from me. I realized that because I was afraid of being judged in a negative way by her, I was completely ignoring the fact that I was made by God, the Creator of the universe, for His pleasure! If God made me in His image to please Him, then how could I bring him pleasure if I wasn’t being me?

I have to admit that accepting the fact that while she had made an admirable choice that had set her free from yelling, that same choice had put me in chains. Am I telling you to go out and yell at your kids instead of reply with a soft answer, no I am not. However, I want you to look at the bigger point that I’m trying to make and that is to be who God called you to be and enjoy that without putting others in chains or feeling inferior because you’re different.  I certainly hope that my friend wasn’t too disappointed once she saw that I just couldn’t help myself.  Fortunately, she’s been my friend for over 16 years, so by this point she loves me in spite of my yelling!

Romans 14:8 talks about living for the Lord and dying for the Lord.  I would actually recommend that you read and study this whole chapter because it really talks about how we should not judge each other any more(Rom.14:13). I challenge you to make a real effort to be curious, but not judgmental. I urge you to embrace who you are even if you have qualities that you don’t necessarily like because that’s what makes you who you are.

Have a great week and please feel free to leave a comment for me letting me know what you thought about when you read this post.