This topic is very near and dear to my heart. People seem to think it is okay to judge others. So let me ask you, what does it mean to judge someone? To judge means to form an opinion or conclusion. The problem is, most people form these opinion’s/conclusion’s without knowing all of the facts.
With that being said- I have to ask- who are we to judge? Matthew 7: 1 says “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.” and in Deuteronomy 1: 17 it says “Do not show partiality in judging; hear both small and great alike. Do not be afraid of anyone, for judgment belongs to God. Bring me any case too hard for you, and I will hear it.”
If we adhere to what the Bible says, it is NOT up to us to judge others. It is up to us to come alongside someone else, to invest in them, to spend time with them, encourage them, and to even tell them when they are wrong as long as it is done in love and through friendship.
I mentioned earlier that this topic is near and dear to my heart. I will share some of my personal story with you. I am currently divorced- although I did my best to make my marriage work it was full of ups and downs.
During our first year or two- we had a good relationship. We had our share of disagreements but we managed to work them out- or so I thought. My husband at the time started pulling away and stopped spending time with me. He stopped serving in the ministries we served in together and placed everything on my head- at least that is how I felt. I tried talking to him about how I felt and he told me there was nothing wrong, it was all in my head. Now- I don’t know if there was truly a problem on his end or not, or what he was telling other people. He did not share any of this with me.
Throughout our difficult time, we were serving the homeless and bringing some of them back to our house, feeding them and taking them to church the following day then taking them back to their camps. My husband decided to stop serving, but was still telling me to bring them back for the night. Then he told me he wasn’t taking them back to their camp that I had to do it. At this point- I felt we were invested in these people and didn’t want to walk away or feel like we were turning our backs on them. Serving was a huge blessing for me and I felt like my cup was overflowing.
After a few months, things were proceeding to be worse at home. It was stated to me by my now ex husband that I was nothing more than a maid, that it was my job to make him dinner, do his laundry and clean up after him. During the conversation he asked me if I had feelings for one of the guys we were serving- admittedly I told him I had developed a crush on one of them. (Yes, I know I should not have- but I wanted to be honest. It was my hopes that he would step up and be the husband I needed him to be.)
Instead of him showing me love and making any attempts to rebuild our marriage he continued to turn his back on me and accused me of having an affair. We began counseling and I feel this hindered us more than helped us. When he would get mad at me, he would call up our counselor and tell him everything then when we met, it felt like our counselor already had his mind made up. (I am not saying this was a fact- it was how I felt.)
We continued to go through counseling, I was told that I had to step down from serving in all aspects and that I was to have no contact at all with these “people” that we were helping. In my mind, I couldn’t see how I could turn my back on those who were depending on me. I knew that I had a crush on one of them but I had not acted upon it. One day, I got a message from one of them asking me to give them a ride- so I went after work, spent some time talking to them and went to give them a ride. While loading their bike into my vehicle my husband at the time showed up- (He put a gps tracker in my vehicle after getting the idea from our counselor.) He threw the bike on the ground and told me I no longer had a home and neither did my kids. He then called our counselor and said he caught me in an affair.
Although nothing was going on intimately between me an this other person- my world collapsed because of my husband at the time. At this time- I was now homeless and jobless because I lost my job the following day.
To be honest, I was now homeless, I didn’t have a job and I didn’t know what I was going to do and my friends from the street were there for me. I didn’t think I had anything left. I lost my faith because at the time I needed the church the most I felt like they turned their back on me. I got nasty messages from people whom I thought were my friends because they were told that I had an affair and were not told all of the facts.
Once we were separated, I admit, I did things I shouldn’t have. I thought I was going to get divorced so I allowed myself to move forward in a relationship with someone I shouldn’t have. I allowed myself to do things that were completely against everything I had once believed in.
It took me a bit to realize that the life I was now living wasn’t a life following after God, but that I was listening to the promptings and suggestions from Satan. When I would pray I thought God was answering me- BUT I didn’t think about how the answers didn’t line up with what God would have wanted for me. I soon realized that what I thought was love, caring, and affections for this person were just an addiction. I know that may sound strange- but I was addicted to him. It was like no matter how much I tried to pull away and get back on track I couldn’t. I was like the yo-yo on the end of a string. The situation I was in was not a good one.
I knew I needed to get my life back on track. I felt like I was a huge let down for my kids, that I was a disappointment to my family, and that the church wouldn’t even want me back. I felt like I was the biggest sinner of them all. My daughter was frequently upset with me because she said all I did was cry. I was so broken that I didn’t know that the pieces could ever be put back together. Every time I heard the song “Broken Things” by Matthew West, I would ball my eyes out. I was broken, I was as low as I could get. I felt that my kids deserved a better mom than I was and that they would be better off without me. No- I didn’t do anything to try to harm myself although I thought about running my vehicle into a tree a few times but could never do it.
So, here I was needing to make a change in my life, needed to get out of this addictive relationship that I was in, needing to find God again. I can’t tell you what the turning point was exactly, but I can tell you that my son who had recently had a major surgery wanted to go to church and I didn’t want him to go alone. I prayed, asking for strength. God answered- He gave me strength- not just to go to church but to walk away from the addictive relationship I was in. The guy told me that day that I was to drop my son off at church and then come back so him and I could talk. God gave me the strength to say no, that I needed to be there for my son. That was the last time I saw the person I was in a relationship with- but it was not the last time I heard from him. He continued to wreck havoc in my life.
God showed me grace and mercy. He showed me unconditional love. God told me that I am HIS child and that He will indeed leave the 99 to find the 1 who was lost and bring them back to Him. This was the beginning of a hard road that I would be travelling.
My now ex husband and I began talking again- and we began dating and trying to rebuild our marriage. He began going to church again with me and ended up welcoming the kids and I back home. It was tough at first, but I gave it to God. I worked hard on rebuilding our marriage. I wanted us to do things together whether it was grocery shopping, going to church, etc. We began counseling again with someone new who encouraged date nights. We began taking turns planning date nights and would surprise each other with what we were planning. It added to our marriage.
Our marriage was once again good for the first year we were back together. We had laid everything down, seeked forgiveness from each other and extended grace. I thought we were on our way to a great marriage but I was wrong.
He once again withdrew, he began sneaking around and lying to me. I asked him about it and he once again told me it was all in my head. He began sitting in the other room instead of in the same room with me. He stopped going anywhere with me and once again reiterated that I was nothing more than his maid. He stopped going to church- he said that he didn’t believe in God and wasn’t going to go so he could be a hypocrite.
Once again my life was being turned upside down. I chose to quit serving so I could spend time working on rebuilding our marriage. All the efforts I put into it weren’t enough, things continued to decline. When I confronted my husband why he was lying to me and sneaking around- he told me he didn’t know why he did, that he just did.
Things continued and we were living more as roommates than anything. He would grocery shop for only him and cook for only him. We lived two separate lives in the same house. I sat and I prayed even more. God knew what was going on. He knew the struggles I was facing and yet God embraced me- He gave me peace that He had already prepared the way and that He would do what was best for me.
This changed my whole outlook and brought me even closer to God. It made me want to seek Him more, to fellowship more for His glory. It wasn’t about me- it was about God!
I am telling you all of this because through all the trials I have faced, God has remained by my side and carried me when I couldn’t do it on my own. But the world- people- have chosen to judge me. People who don’t know the whole story, people who say they believe in God but yet are ready to crucify me because of my wrong choices without even given any thought to the actions of my now ex husband.
I know I am not perfect, I am a sinner and daily I seek forgiveness. There is no one in this world who is perfect or not a sinner. That is the way we were created.
Yes, I have made mistakes- but others judging me for my transgressions is like me judging those who have treated me wrong. I have been raped in the past by someone who I thought was a friend and instead of judging them or condemning them- I gave it to God and God helped me to forgive this person. I have reached out to them and let them know that I have forgiven them. It wasn’t easy for me to do but I felt led by God to do it.
I hope me sharing some of my story with you will help you in your journeys. I hope that you will see the goodness of God. I hope you will be able to see Him as a protector, a giver of grace, a forgiver, and one who is your everlasting Father. A Father who has already prepared a way for you.
I don’t know if you are able to email me through this blog or not- but if you would like to reach out, share your thoughts, or seek encouragement I would love to be there for you to come alongside of you. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org I look forward to hearing from you. You don’t have to even give me your real name- I can pray for you however you wish. God knows your name and that is what matters. He knew you even before you were formed in your mother’s womb. God loves you so much more than you can imagine!