When I was a judgmental Christian
My experience in my walk with God has been a walk down the Roman road.
First, I timidly accepted the fact that Jesus died on the cross for me. A drinker, smoker (at the time), cusser, liar when I needed to be, and definitely more caught up in my own self-interest than anyone else's.
Nothing at all like Jesus.
We were a young married couple without kids, and even though I grew up loving the Lord, I became convinced somewhere in my early twenties that He'd probably just had it with my waywardness.
A positive pregnancy test reminded me that life isn't a party and I wondered if God would still have me.
See, up until that point, Christianity was a diet I often cheated on. A sin-free day and my heart was light--God loved me! But dang it all when a friend started whispering rumors in my ear and I couldn't help but dig into that dish. Or when it got too hard to tell the truth, so I said whatever someone wanted to hear--just to avoid conflict.
Then there were the days I sat in front of the television screen and continued stuffing chips or whatever into my face as I shrugged off Jesus jokes and blasphemies of all kinds for the sake of funny.
I was wishy-washy.
But as Connor grew in my belly, a yearning for a closeness to God grew in my heart. From a deep places of insecurity, it hurt to think I might never measure up. So I accepted Christ, and I became as holy as I thought I could possibly be.
I stopped cussing.
I stopped smoking.
I stopped drinking.
And I stopped watching television, mostly.
I was a prayer warrior. Oh I prayed for everyone (bless their little hearts). People who just didn't quite have down the Christian walk the way I did.
Because she listens to THAT music. (Pray for her).
Because she lets her kids do (or watch) THAT. (Pray for her).
Because she and her husband go out and do THAT. (Pray for her.)
Because I just don't think she knows Jesus the way I do. (Pray for her).
I am sickened by how judgmental I became as a young mother. Truthfully, I hate revealing this part of myself to you. The exposure is damning, but let me assure that this is who I WAS. Not who I AM.
When the tables turned, and I began making decisions that were openly judged, I suddenly felt what it was like to be the object of scrutiny. When someone else thought I wasn't a good enough Christian, it made me feel not enough for God.
And I got on my knees to pray for forgiveness from anyone I ever made feel that way. That's when God started showing me the truth.
All of my concern about everything everyone else was doing, was actually just a deep fear that I wasn't good enough for God myself. If everyone else did it wrong, and I did it right--well, then I was safe. God would love me the most.
And realizing these insecurities changed me. God brought two things to my attention.
One, He loves me. Jesus really died on that cross for me. No matter what. Unconditionally. This doesn't mean I intentionally try to live my life in a way that is displeasing to God, but it means the inevitable times I do screw up is covered by His grace. That means I can trust His love for me--even on my most unlovable days.
Two, God doesn't love me more than anyone else. Jesus died for us all. And those who believe in His gift and accept His grace are absolutely covered by it.
I am not a mediator between other people and God--I don't belong in their relationship and God doesn't need my take on their lives. Unlike the false claims I make to my kids about myself, God actually does have eyes in the back of His head!
He sees it all. Including me. Every part of me.
He loves me. He loves you.
Both of us the same.