I sometimes get really worried about what you think. I worry about the impressions you have of me, of how I'm doing at work, what kind of dad I am, and what you think of my marriage. I know it's not a healthy thing to do, but the nature of my job has me in front of groups of people just like you.
Here is another little bit of truth, I judge people in front of me too. I don't think about it when I'm in the moment, but it's true, I evaluate everything. Just the other day I went to a program at my son's school and I had a list of things that could have been done better. Simple things like hospitality and introductions. The same thing used to happen when I was waiting tables, I'd go somewhere else for dinner and completely judge the service. I'm a judger.
I'm not proud of the fact that I judge people, but I believe it is the nature of being human; judgement happens. The key is, what am I going to do about it? Am I going to treat someone differently because of it? Am I going to act differently when I know that I am being judged? Am I going to continue the judgement cycle?
I'm convinced that part of the Christian walk is to know that other people are watching you, and to do the right thing anyway.
I think most of us find a moment in our lives where we are overly concerned with what others think of us. In my own life this looks like paranoia and a need for affirmation. When I am in those moments I become more concerned about what you think, rather than if what I did was honoring to God.
The opinion of others can sometimes be an idol in my life.
One of the things that I have been doing to battle this in my life is to try to change the thought process that I have when I'm judging others, or when I am being judged myself. Lately, I have been repeating a verse that a friend of mine gave me. This verse talks about contentment and remembering that God will not forsake us.
Sometimes the first thing we need to do to get to a healthier place in our lives is to replace the "tapes" that play in our heads. The "tapes" are the broken thought processes that move us farther away from God. For me it's things like, "they could do that better if..." or "I wonder what (insert name) thought of that..." The broken tapes aren't helpful, nor do they bring me closer to God.
This week I'd like to invite you in joining me as I replace the tapes. Below is the verse that I've been using to tackle this issue in my life. But I'd love to hear from you, please share whatever you say to yourself to stop the judgement cycle.
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,“Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?”
My favorite part is that last sentence; What can mere mortals do to me?
Judgement happens, but each of us have a choice. The choice is how we are going to let it impact our lives.