Yesterday was the final day of our church's semi-annual general conference. It is a wonderful time to hear words from leaders about a myriad of topics. One of the topics was on passing judgment, holding grudges, gossiping, etc. The speaker mentioned that he had seen a bumper stick on the car of a man who was seemingly "a bit rough around the edges" that read -
"Don't judge me because I sin differently than you"
Love it. Adore it. However, I want us all to remember that he wasn't suggesting that we make this our personal motto. I think he was admonishing those of us within the church to remember to remain humble, to avoid passing judgment and to mitigate our gossip - even if it is based on fact.
I have already seen a few cutesy wall hangings like the one above and in my opinion it seems to be taking the defensive stance. Not the point of the talk. Our church is famous for having extremely strict standards in the view of the rest of the world when it comes to lifestyle, so I seriously doubt many look at our church and judge us based on our perceived sins. However, I'm sure there are plenty of individuals who have felt judged by a member or two based on the choices they make about their lifestyle. He was reminding us to love and not to pass judgment, that's not our job. And guess what - we ALL sin, but sometimes we think ours isn't as serious as those we observe around us. Wrong. Just because you don't choose to live the same way as another, doesn't make their choices worthy of your negativity.
I'm not trying to call out members of my church, I'm just hoping that we all remember the real intent of the talk and not turn it around to something defensive. If you remember, he also said several times that if you can look at your life and find any instances of gossiping, judging, and not showing love, then "STOP IT".
I think that makes for a better cutesy, decorative wall hanging. What a fantastic reminder, short and to the point! A stern reminder to stop in your tracks and not let your thoughts snowball any further. I'm a fan.
I'm accepting the challenge to 'stop it', and keep in the back of my mind that we all sin differently and what you do is not more or less severe than mine. I can definitely show more love to all those I encounter. I can be a better example to my family, friends, roommates and co-workers.
Anyone up for a challenge?