"Do not go where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Plank Pullin': The one where I feel judged

It’s Plank Pullin’ time! The one day a week that we strongly resolve to ignore the multitude of specks and sawdust around us and pull one bona fide plank from our own eye. Matthew 7:3-5, style. 

Let me start with a general confession:

People bug me.

I mean, I'm as personable and easy to get along with as the next guy when everyone's being nice and reasonable and friendly... and I truly enjoy interacting with others who are happy and open-minded and interesting.  But.  I am an introvert through and through, and I get "peopled out" very easily.  Unfortunately, the internet (which is, of course, an invaluable source of those happy and open-minded and interesting people I do like talking to) also provides a veritable and unending stream of frustration in the form of the rude, the arrogant, and lately, the judgmental.

I have felt a lot of judgment lately.... not judgment aimed at me specifically, but aimed towards people like me:  those of the "more Jesus, less religion" ilk.  People like me who truly love God, but who, for one reason or another have rejected the traditional path of organized religion.  Those who have found freedom in the relationship, even (or especially) outside of church, and those who have eschewed a lifestyle built on rules.

It has been following me - and frustrating me - all week.  First was the conversation I happened on about unschooling.  Then it was parenting. Then it was what kind of statuses are inappropriate to post on Facebook. Then it was clothing.  Then it was television. Then it was the proper way to talk to God.  Then it was the proper way to talk ABOUT God.  Then it was the proper kind of church to go to.  "People who know and love God would not xyz.  The bible is clear that we're commanded to xyz.  You are not a good Christian woman if you xyz."  Is it any wonder that when, a few days ago, a non-Christian friend bemoaned how judgmental she found Christians, I could do nothing but commiserate?

I don't fit into a box, Christian or otherwise.

I don't go to church regularly.
I unschool.
I love tattoos.
I put weird colors in my hair.
I sometimes laugh at inappropriate things.
I sometimes SAY inappropriate things.


And I know that God loves me anyway.

I don't like feeling judged. But - and this is the part where I finally get around to pulling my plank - my feeling frustrated or angry towards the ones doing it is really no different than the judgment itself. If I'm all indignantly yelling, "How DARE she judge me?" aren't I judging as well? And how about that... it doesn't feel nice coming or going.

Whatever journey they are on is just that: theirs. And this one is mine. And I can ignore their existence love them and learn to sincerely wish them well, and rest assured in the peace that comes from knowing that nothing anyone else says can affect my own personal relationship with God.

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