A thought hit me the other day. I think it was a week ago. I thought about all the christians I had interacted with in my life and the non-christians I’d interacted with who flinched when I mentioned ‘church’. Their reasons were constant throughout, regardless of age, sex, race, they all gave me the same response: “I don’t like christians and I don’t like church because I don’t want to be judged.”
In the beginning I dismissed it as utter ignorance because I thought heck! The rules are there, just adhere to them. I had never been judged by a christian because I was too young. There is only so much that life revealed to me before I was, let’s say, at the age of 22. Which was only a year ago.
The purpose of this post is not to dissect the realities of church and human beings. That is a massive debate that I will not even stir up today. The purpose of my post relates to the thought that then hit me a week ago.
I thought to myself: the bible is truly poetic. Especially in the way it has depicted the ‘Enemy’. It is either too poetic or we as people are not interpreting it correctly. The “Enemy” ie. The Devil, is depicted as a monstrous and scary spirit (of which he is) but he is also small, non-intimidating and strategic in his moves. He is so slick in ways that we don’t even realize that he is as easy to breathe in and let out as oxygen.
As people we focus so much on depicting what is heinous and disgusting in another person that we forget that the mere act of judging is the enemy’s work.
If you have something bad to say about everyone and anyone then you need to press pause and do a routine check on your thoughts. If you don’t know someone’s story from birth to the present then don’t even utter an opinionated word. Words are powerful & most of the time we don’t even hold the rights to utter them in enormous weights. Speak words that build or don’t speak at all.
I have suffered from all sorts of insecurities in my younger years. From weight issues (even though I have never even been overweight in retrospect) to merely feeling like my nose was too big. My journey of moving from a young girl raised in a single-parent home with various struggles, to being a working young lady and student at 16 taught me a lot of resilience and the self-sufficiency it taught me showed me just how much strength and tenacity I had. It taught me to never bring people down because I know what being stuck in the grips of depression feels like.
But as I grew older, especially in the previous year I found myself being hurled at with the most atrocious words. From being mocked because I was raised by a single mom (so apparently that means I have male issues) to being told I am self-absorbed.
There were many times I wanted to take my own life but the thought of what it would do to my mother shattered me. The thought of how she took care of us even in the darkest hours before the dawn that never even came. I was extremely humbled by her love and strength. I still am – it brings me to tears. A lot of the decisions I have made have been centered on pleasing my mother. Not in the moment, but definitely in the future that I am building. But my tenacity and focus is simply translated as “overly ambitious” and “self-absorbed” to people that do not know my story.
The worst thing you could do as a man would be to compare a woman to another woman when each person ultimately bears different burdens and their own insecurities and fears. It is unmanly and it is disgusting.
I would rather bite my tongue and have my silence mistaken for sulking than utter words that break another human being. The devil does not reside in the knife, or the gun, or the killer’s heart, or the rapist, or the criminal, or the gay/lesbian, or the fornicator, or the drunkard. The devil resides comfortably in our thoughts and our tongues.
The process of healing from words is a hard and necessary process. Before you say something think about what scars it will leave on another person’s soul. And, before you accept someone’s judgment as “your truth”, go back to your purpose and journey and re-commit to your life.
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK AND BEYOND: Do a routine check on your thoughts and understand before you speak. Love yourself enough to care about the world your life is immersed in.
QUOTE: “Be kind to yourself and others. Come from love every moment you can.” – Chopra Foundation