July 14 – Fear of – Being Judged

Read Matthew 7:1-3

One definition found online of the phrase “to judge” says “to express a bad opinion of someone’s behavior, often because you think you are better than them.”

How true is that?

Unless you have been made fun of yourself, you don’t realize how harmful some off-handed comments you might make can be.

I have been overweight my entire life.  In our society, it is not OK to make fun of some things but a person’s weight is always open season!

I have been made fun of by all kinds of people. And yes, when I was younger I was frozen in fear of being judged! That fear used to stop me from doing a lot of things: singing solos, going to parties, and even participating in family member’s weddings.

All because of the fear I had of being judged.

When you are overweight, have a deformity or a handicap, you try to pretend that it doesn’t exist.  And in your mind, it doesn’t until some unthinking person thinks that they need to point it out.  Like you don’t have a mirror in your house?  So, you think, “Oh thanks! I didn’t notice!” or “You are so kind to point out what I was hoping no one else in the room would notice.”

Why do people do that? 

I have concluded that they feel that, if they point out YOUR faults, no one will notice THEIR OWN.  They might claim that they are just trying to “help” but, in reality, is isn’t “helping” at all- just hurting!

We all want to be accepted for who we are.  Not what we look like, how we talk, walk or even smell! 

As I got older, I realized four things.

  1. I am a child of God, not a child of man.
  2. He loves me just the way I am right now, not the way others think I should be!  
  3. God’s not finished with me yet! I am His “Work in Progress” so I shouldn’t judge MYSELF by what others say or think. 
  4. When people feel they need to judge me, that is THEIR problem, not mine.

God has used all the pain I felt for years to help others.  For many years, I worked with children who were beaten down emotionally every day, sometimes by their own parents.  Many acted out in class. However, they just wanted to be accepted!  They would do whatever it took to get that approval, not judgement from their peers.  Why do kids join gangs? Fear of judgement and the need for acceptance!  Gang members accept them. Too bad many regular people, even Christians, don’t.

Look around you! Seek out the people who are frozen in their fear, wanting to be accepted!  Is it someone you know or a stranger?  Is it you?  Sometimes it only takes a smile or a listening ear to melt those bars of fear that have them imprisoned.   

Pat Arnold

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