Decency wins when we hear their story before offering judgment. – The Accidental Missionary

Image result for max lucado judging

In the past, I have said:

I quit sharing when you quit listening.

When I felt that my story was not heard, I went silent.

When sharing my feelings and my story was met with judgment, condemnation, and unsolicited advice rather than tender loving care and Christ-like grace, I found tender loving care and Christ-like grace…elsewhere.

Image result for max lucado judging

I have had some close people in my life who thought they were helping me by trying to offer advice. They tried to “fix” me, instead of offering to just listen to me share what it was like to walk in these “shoes.”

I have had some close people in my life who were so disappointed in me, they walked away instead of listening to my perspective, my story. A few of them wrote me letters telling me of their disappointment and hurt, feeling justified to share scripture and righteous wisdom in order to hasten my repentance.

For some people in my life whom I thought were good friends or close family, they went silent and chose to ignore the battle I faced. I understood, although I was heartbroken. They didn’t know what to say. It was easier to just go silent. I’ve done that to others…

*****

Tomorrow makes me weary. Listening to really good people make ugly comments about this candidate or that candidate is so discouraging.

I told someone the other day that I am just as guilty of thinking one way versus the opposing view, simply because I pay attention to the hate and the internet and the news…and I do not know Donald or Hillary, but God does.

Hillary is His child.

Donald is His child.

And I suspect that deep down, they are both trying to do what they believe is best for our country.

I also know that, according to what I have heard and read, they have done things in their past that they most likely regret. Me too.

Until I sit down and have a conversation with either of them, HEAR THEIR STORY, and walk one step in their shoes, I have no business spreading negativity and hatred and disgust and unkind words. Whoever is my President tomorrow, I owe them a chance, I owe them many chances, because it isn’t going to be easy, and they are going to need me and millions of other followers of Jesus to practice the fruits of the Spirit and carry out the instructions from Micah 6:8.

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*****

I am grateful for a lot swimming around in my head today.

I am grateful that I am where I am, that even though it was a long hard road, I can hold my head high, knowing I am forgiven, I am loved, and I am surrounded with the friends and family who cared enough to hear my story before offering judgment.

I am grateful for my friends and my family who are interested enough to ask, and I am grateful for the reminders to be the kind of person who asks others to share their story, because sometimes I get so caught up in my own, I become one who unintentionally goes silent and ignores.

I am grateful for dreary days to appreciate a roof over my head and a warm blanket.

I am grateful for a Sunday message that continues to nudge on my heart.

I am grateful for a day without the TV on, a day without the radio on.

I am grateful for a cheese and bacon sandwich for lunch.

And I am grateful that tomorrow is a new day, a new era of possibilities for our country, and another opportunity for me to wear love everywhere I go.

Image result for max lucado judging

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4 thoughts on “Decency wins when we hear their story before offering judgment. – The Accidental Missionary

  1. Rhonda – this was great and a message we ALL need to hear and practice!!! None of ‘us’ have arrived – we are simply loved – forgiven – and have the hope of our future eternity with Christ!!! I love your ‘gratefuls’! You encourage and inspire me to become a better woman – a more devoted Christian – a more attentive friend or family member – a grateful wife of a fantastic husband – and a forgiven sinner saved by God’s abundant grace!

    T hanks for writing these daily posts – I don’t often reply – but I do daily read them and you DO inspire and encourage me. THANKS!!! Please don’t quit writing them – you always seem to find the center/heart/feelings/caring etc. etc. of issues that touch everyone. God has definitely given you the gift of giving and sharing. Thanks for your sweet spirit of honesty and caring. Love you TONS!!! I’m SO proud of you and I know that God has not brought you ‘thru’ these valleys without redeeming your lessons learned to reach into the hearts of others. Always be faithful to share as God has helped you and continues to grow you up in Him!!

    Also – thanks for letting us know about Steve – I can’t believe that they can send him home so soon – who will be there to help him? U. Gene just came thru his hip surgery too. He seems to be doing well too.

    Give our love and best to Sam – your Dad – Angela and her family. Trust this finds everyone doing well and preparing for the ‘cold’ winter season!!

    HA – Love to all – thanks again A. Patsy

    ________________________________

    • Dearest Rhonda,

      I too have felt the sting of being a “sinner”. For you see, there are the “sins” that are acceptable in “organized religion” and the “sins” that people suddenly find their voice and speak in judgement and disbelief. I felt the whispers, the stares, and from many of my friends…. silence. One devastating comment from a friend that knew me…. knew my heart, simply told me she would never feel the same about me again. My heart was truly broken. I knew my “sin” was forgivable, yet I felt such shame and if I were totally honest…. I felt mad. I felt I was being judged for one poor decision, one bad. What about all the good I had done in my life. Did that “sin” null and void all of the good? Simply, in many of my Christian friends, yes, it did. It took a lot of counseling and especially the love of my Sister, to make me realize, I am not worthy of forgiveness, yet God extends that to me because of his unconditional love, just as he does for each of us! I have yet to be actively involved with “organized religion” since that time. I believe in God, I believe in his forgiveness and grace. Yet, my heart can still feel the sting of those that felt it was okay to judge me. It has changed my belief system…. it has changed my heart! I can see there was a time in my life I felt I knew way more than I did, I very possibly judged someone else as I have felt the sting of judgement. My mind…. my heart….. my hope…. has broadened, has changed. I realized my job whether a Christian or just a human being, is to love. I don’t get caught up in the politic game, it brings too much stress, I don’t get caught up in the questions that is sure to make an ” organized religion” Christian pull out their Bible and reading the story of Sodom and Gamora, if you are gay are you going to hell??? What about transgender people???? All I need to worry about is Love. I try to live my life as Jesus would. Jesus to me is LOVE! My happy place I have found is working with foster kids and showing them a love that most of them have never experienced. I’ve made mistakes in my life, yet I know I am forgiven and lived!

      You my friend, have always been such a special person to me. Our friendship is literally the oldest friendship I have! The memories…. I treasure! I have always loved you….. period! Your happiness is the only thing that has been in my heart! I get to ready some of your posts, but, with an 8,9 12 and 13, all girls, my time is stretched! I don’t get to respond much but this hit home. This brought back a painful journey that truly affected my life! I love you my friend’

      Lori

      • Lori, in sync, we are. 🙂 On all accounts. You were one of the few who didn’t turn your back on me. I knew, as I have always known, that you would be right there if I ever needed you. My “oldest” friend in this world, and I am so proud of who you are and how you live your life. I love the Mom you are to those beautiful kids – the grown ones and the growing ones. I am so happy you are now a grandparent and are beginning to feel that kind of love that wants to burst out of your chest. I love that you live your life with your head held high. You are a role model for me – you always have been. I always wished I had your spunk and confidence. It makes you even more beautiful. I ditto your thoughts and feelings about being “one of those people.” We have been on the other side and we know the condemnation all too well. I am very grateful that we both have sisters who loved us through it, grateful that we both had a small circle of support to carry us through. I am so grateful that we both still have our faith and have grown through the fire. Jesus calls us to love. Period. You get it. So do I. Sometimes I think it takes being “one of those people” to really get it.

        I love you, Lori Dawn.

    • Aunt Patsy, I love you too! And you wrote, “You encourage and inspire me to become a better woman – a more devoted Christian – a more attentive friend or family member – a grateful wife of a fantastic husband – and a forgiven sinner saved by God’s abundant grace!” but I am pretty sure that you must have copied what I think about YOU. 🙂 We are both very blessed, and I am so grateful for you in our lives. You and Uncle Charlie were INSTRUMENTAL in my healing… I miss you so much.

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