People think and speak badly about me.

November 12, 2017 • Filed under: • Tagged: ,

A string of observations that occurred recently all in one week made me realize people speak and think badly about me…and it’s made me all the more determined not to think or speak badly about anyone ever again!

#1 – I heard a group of students bashing a professor. 

And then I realized…students have talked badly about me.

The professor had said one sentence that had an incorrect fact in it. Her PhD was being taunted. Her mistake was being ridiculed (as in, how could she not know that?). In all the years I have spent in the classroom, I have made many mistakes. Those mistakes have been heard. And those mistakes have been talked about. I had the evidence right before my very eyes.

#2 – I heard a person talk badly about someone who didn’t dress in “proper church attire.”

And then I realized…people have thought badly about my church attire.

I have attended church in committed fashion for 45 years. Some of those years have included very rough seasons of life, the kind that knock the stuffing right out of you. I have awakened on some Sunday mornings wondering how I was going to roll out of bed. But this has always been my thought process when times were rough:

Lord, I can’t even breathe without you. I am going to demonstrate my need and love for You by going to church even though I don’t feel like it. Accept my attendance as evidence I am desperate for you and can’t make it through this without You.

On such Sundays, I don’t show up looking so great. Those would be my blue jeans, no make-up, swollen eyes Sundays. I had always considered those Sundays to be the most beautiful in God’s eyes though, because He knew my attendance was a sign of need and love for Him. But now I know the truth about what some people thought.

#3 – I heard a lady talk about how she has to clean her house before someone can stop by.

And then I realized…people have evaluated the cleanliness of my house when visiting.

A mother found out I had told her daughter she could stop by my house any time without notice. I had told her daughter she could just knock. The mother did not thank me for that hospitable gesture, however, but rather remarked, “You must keep your house really clean.” The mom’s comment struck me as odd. What did a clean house have to do with letting another person know she could knock on my door if she needed me or wanted to spend time with me? The mother’s response served as a fresh reminder that some people evaluate the cleanliness of my home when visiting me.

I am old enough now to know. What other people do, I do too.

Yes, it’s true. I too am guilty of everything that was done to me.

  • I have talked about another person’s mistake.
  • I have judged other people’s’ church attire.
  • I have evaluated the cleanliness of other people’s’ homes.

And this makes me sick to my stomach. 

In these days when issues about judging others fill our conversation, particularly about race, gender and sexual orientation, a common pitfall is just inches away from our feet. Conversations about societal issues are usually broad-stroke and general instead of specific and detailed. It then becomes easy for us to examine ourselves in broad-stroke ways as well, and to only examine the categories media is determining for us instead of examining everything about ourselves.

Broad-stroke conversations about others can keep us from going through our own hearts with a fine-toothed comb and making sure there is nothing impure to be found.

Confession is all it takes to clean out those corners in our hearts, but without a good cleaning, we will miss the dust-balls in the corners that will keep us from living in full surrender to the King.

I have no interest in anything blocking the Spirit from being fully expressed through me.

When we see something ugly in someone else, let’s make sure that same ugly isn’t living in us.

When we find it (which we probably will), let’s take care of it immediately by confessing and repenting. I am in the heart-cleansing process with you.

Picture Explanation:
My son entered a fishing competition with some friends earlier this month. Four boys and two moms got up early and were on Lake Lanier with the captain of our boat. No fish. Instead, God’s beauty, an adventure, and a free fishing rod that has been used since to catch fish in our well-stocked neighborhood pond. Smiles all around.

© 2017 by Oaks Ministries. All rights reserved.

2 Comments

  • Jewl says:

    So many things to say here. 1st, I’m sorry for people needlessly judging you! 2nd, I’m thankful with you that negative words spoken to us or about us, although hurtful, lose their power when God’s approval of us is all we need and Christ’s death made us fully accepted (justified) by Him! Recently, I was falsely accused. While this older woman ranted, all I could think of was Christ being falsely accused for what we in fact had done! 3rd, Thanks for the reminder to examine and clean our hearts more than our homes! Matt. 7:1-5 shows that the command to “Judge not, that you be not judged” is in the context of our own hypocrisy: “For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? . . . You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” 4th, I love how you keep your home!! 5th, People will remember that they were welcomed and feel at ease to be themselves if we ourselves push away perfectionism and performance! (Although I think more women worry more about their own home than evaluate another’s.) We clean to bless, not impress. Thank you for being such a welcoming person! 6th, (and sorry to carry on so long . . . ) I’m GEEKED that your son has a near-by place to fish! 🙂

    • Laurie says:

      Wow, thanks for taking the time to respond with such a thorough list! I am glad you were reminded about the importance of keeping our hearts clean above all, as that is the focus of the post. In the end, we have all needlessly judged each other…so sad, but true. I want it gone from my own heart and gone from society. Where do we earn the right to be so brutal on others when we ourselves are so mistake-ridden? May God do His work to cleanse my heart of such things.

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