31 May Condemning Voices
“For he stands at the right hand of the needy, to save their lives from those who condemn them.”
Psalm 109:31 NIV
Have you ever been in a season in your life where everything seemed to go so wrong? And as much as you’ve tried with all of your efforts to do things right, it did not fix anything. In fact, it may have made the situation worse. I think we’ve all been there.
I’ve mentioned in some posts how my husband and I lost our home in 2015. We did EVERYTHING we could to save that house. It seemed like we were in front of a large brick wall that would not budge. I could not understand why things unraveled the way they did. It did not make sense in my mind. Honestly, there are circumstances surrounding that house even now that I still cannot comprehend. And I’m not the only one. My realtor, my short-sale specialist and others who’ve done their best in helping us sell this house continue to be baffled by how the scenario has played out.
One thing about this whole experience that I knew would happen was…the gossip. People have a way of attempting to answer life’s questions. And those who aren’t in your shoes tend to speak things they really don’t know. The truth is, we’ve all done this. I can remember times when I’ve been quick to give my own two cents on someone else’s situation, as if I knew any better. In my case with this house, I began hearing the whispers. And they weren’t very nice.
I began to see how we, as Christians, can mask the voice of condemnation with the justification of spiritualization. Let me tell you, 2015 was the year where I said, “I HATE religion.” I hated everything about the man-made rules and church politics that did not point back to God’s unadulterated Word, His salvation or love. I hated the fact that I had once been part of those groups who would bash others for leaving a certain church and have a difficult time greeting them at a local grocery store or mall. There was something very wrong with this picture.
Too many people have been hurt by churches. And while I understand that no church is perfect, I also understand that we (I include myself) have given Christians a horrible reputation. When I think about my house situation, I don’t understand it. But, I do understand that if it were not for certain circumstances that occurred in that year (including the loss of the house), I would not be where I am today. I would not be in a place where God is rewiring my brain to understand the healthy way of living life as a Christ-follower. Looking back at this former chapter in my life, I’ve been able to see that my world was so much smaller than the real world actually is.
I’m learning how to genuinely live as a person fully dedicated to God’s love. I’m learning that my opinions don’t need to be spoken or shared. Who am I to speak about another? God created us both. We are both made in His image. And if we respect and love God the way we should, then we should be able to love and respect others, as they also have His stamp of creation on them.
I know that the world we live in is not the ideal, perfect picture of harmony and unity. And I know that condemnation and gossip will continue. As a result, I’m grateful for Psalm 109:31. God knows that we will experience this. But, He’s there to save us. We may not understand our situations fully. People may talk what they do not know. But, God is right by us. And He won’t let our lives be snatched up in the ugliness of others’ words if we choose to remain steadfast to His voice.
I speak to you having experienced both sides: the extra-religious, follow-the-rules, hide behind Bible verses to justify my actions side…and the side of learning the true definition of compassion, grace and love of God. And the latter is the right choice. We won’t get it right all of the time, but we need to be honest with ourselves and others. Our decisions and the words we choose should shine God’s love so brightly to others. It’s not easy. But, I’d rather be a source of encouragement and not a destroyer with my words.
“…Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak…” -James 1:19