I had an interview the other day with Roger Bush of Entrepreneurs by Faith (ebfaith.com), and it was a pretty great interview. Unfortunately, there were technical difficulties with the recording so we are going to have rerecord it. While we were talking he had asked me a question that prompted a response from me that actually opened up my channel of thought and allowed me more understanding.
Something that I have been struggling with is trust. This has partially kept me from attending church on a regular basis. It’s not the only reason. We are a one car family, and I don’t really drive. So there are still other obstacles in my way, but my inability to trust others has been an issue for far too long. I’ve been working on overcoming that, but find it one of the toughest things to overcome at this point in my life.
Without going into too much detail obviously I’ve been hurt more times than I’d care to think about and it has caused me to develop this wall of protection that pushes others out of my life. It has kept me from socializing, attending church, or any events for that matter except where my children are involved. I had almost become a shut in, and I’ve been totally fine with this, except … sigh … I’ve been lonely. (Another post perhaps, but I’ve been putting myself out there a little at a time.)
And before I go any further I want you to know that my church is in no way responsible for my feelings. Yes, at some point in my past I was hurt by some Christians (not at my church) and I want to make that perfectly clear. I am not on here to bash church goers or Christians, but rather hoping to put a new light on this subject.
Christians tend to be the most critical of all of others. I myself have fallen into this category a few times in my life. We have such high expectations of others because of our teachings and beliefs. The problem I believe with Christians is there is so much pressure to be perfect because if we fail and someone that is a non-believer sees our failure then they may be forever turned off by the Christian community and in retrospect turn away God. I know that I do not want to be responsible for that.
What we forget is that WE (ALL of US) are in fact HUMAN. I am personally guilty of expecting a lot of my ex, my children, and myself. Do I expect more than they are able to deliver? Perhaps at times. I know as a mother I really want to see my children succeed at life. Fall in love, have children, get their first home, get that dream job, or whatever THEIR dreams are and whatever it is that God would have them to do. Sometimes, as a mother I think it’s necessary for my children to do certain things in life in order to be happy, but then I have to step back and realize that, hey, my children are two completely different individuals and what’s right for one may not be right for the other. While I know this I have to at times remind myself of it.
The same is true for what we expect of others (Christians and non-Christians) alike. We must remember that first we are ALL made in God’s image. We are all loved by God. He made us each unique though. We each have different talents, different personalities, and we each have our imperfections and sins. And God still loves us with all of that, and God still forgives us with all of that.
I think, especially as Christians we need to relax a bit. I don’t mean to say accept every sin around the corner. Of course not, and we shouldn’t go living a life of sin either. What I’m saying is have more compassion, more understanding, always be in prayer for each other rather than in critical judgment of each other.
Having to live a life of sickness, depression, and being poor and having to humiliate myself and seek assistance in order to survive has taught me a few things. People can be very judgmental both Christians and non-Christians alike. I do not believe this is what God intended for us to do with each other. Yes, I believe as a Christian we are supposed to use spiritual discernment, but it is not our place to be jury and judge and hand someone a life sentence for their mistakes/sins. Love them, pray for them, seek God’s guidance first (always) if you feel the need to speak with them so that you speak with God’s love and they get the message they are intended to get and not your message.
What say you? Have you been hurt or seen a loved one hurt and your/their trust in others has suffered because of it? What advice do you have for us? Remember to be kind and not critically judgmental in your responses.