I would like to talk about something that possibly could be our biggest stumbling block. Something that is removing our freedom and peace that's within our own grasp to stop! It places us in a cage and can begin to push all those we love out. It affects us, our future, our success and our relationships.
STICK WITH ME HERE! I may be speaking about it differently than you may have ever heard or what you are thinking right now.
Let's first get clarity on what judgement is by definition. Judgement is the ability to make considered decisionsor come to a sensible conclusion. It can be an opinion, a decision of a court or judge, or it's misfortune or calamity viewed as divine punishment.
A considered decision or sensible conclusion. These aren’t always wrong or incorrect or something we are wrong to do, but it is the definition of a Judgement.
Judgments can be small and simple as what we say when speaking things like "Gah he left his shoes out again. He doesn't care about me. See, she doesn't like me. She didn't answer her phone again, she has no respect. I knew they wouldn't come. They think I'm stupid". Again simple. Or they can be reasonable.“I knew it. They struggled with porn. I could see it in their eyes. They’re worthless. They are out to harm, I hear them gossip all the time. There’s no hope for them they love them drugs, that leader is selfish...” etc.
These can be about you or someone else.Judgement on yourself can be "I cannot do that. I am worthless. So stupid. What the crap is happening, I am retarded. I could not do that ever, since what happened at childhood I can’t" etc.
Again, these are "considered decisions" that you have made a CONCLUSION on or an OPINION on. A Judgement.
It also can be as large as judging an entire city, church or denomination, family or country. These judgements are usually because of an action or a tragedy. Something that you "see" happening that you have perceived and came up with an opinion on the reasoning. But within this blog, I will be focusing on judgments with relationships not a city or nation.
Judgment is such a simple thing, it doesn't have to be this major reaction to something most vile. It's a heart and perception you have towards yourself or another.
SO WHY DOES THIS MATTER!?!?
It is a stumbling block to you. Right or wrong in the judgement does not stop the stumbling block. A judgment brings judgement to you. We will discuss these below. First let me share some examples so you can think on one that may be applicable as we dig in more.
That one time you were offended by someone in your family, work or church. You stated things like “they freaking suck, I knew they wouldn’t follow through, they never call, they always do this or that as a leader, they don’t care about anyone except themselves...”. You spoke a judgment over them.
What about a spouse? They left their dirty clothes again in the floor and not the hamper. So you begin to think and say things to yourself and others "they are slack, they do not care about anyone except themselves, they are a messy person", etc.
A co-worker,they didn't follow through with a task or they told you boss on something you didn't complete. So you begin to state things internally or to another that "they are back stabbers, what liars, they are so two faced, untrustworthy" etc. These are a "considered decision" that you have made a CONCLUSION on or an OPINION on.
Some may think “ok Natasha. This is taking it too far. Too religious.” Let’s think on that, as I did. Did the word say in any of the scriptures below or above, “if the person only sinned this bad, 20% or above, then it applies, or if the enemy is not a Christian it applies, if the enemy isn’t your pastor, etc”. We put the markers and lines on the scripture. Little foxes spoil the vine. If you are going to judge the spouse living with you, why would your heart be stopped to judge the sinner who abused someone in your own town? It starts with the small judgments and only continues to grow.
The first reaction to these judgements within you are you may become sad, stressed, anxious, depressed, bitter, resentful, etc. You are feeling like you are seeing something you cannot change and that has you stuck. You are not at peace internally. You are not aligned with yourself. This is a very unpleasant way to live and if not dealt with properly then your physical body will begin to respond with sickness.
This is no way to live. There are laws and biblical examples on how we handle judgements and what comes forth when we live in judgment. Let's read on
Bible's view on judgement.
(Again I will be only digging into the verses that pertain to "relationship" and not city or nation judgments.)
Boundaries were set for our protection at the beginning of creation and we crossed them. Therefore sin was born which includes judgement and the wages of sin being death was put into place. You can see this judgement in play through the old covenant (testament). Thankfully this judgement was fulfilled by God sending his son to the earth. "For the wages which sin pays to death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Romans 6:23. So in this covenant we do not have to carry the wage of sin anymore. Matthew 5:17-20. The judgement was removed. "All are justified and made upright, right standing with God, by His grace, through the redemption which is Jesus Christ." Romans 3:24
In the New Covenant (testament), Matthew 7 states "We must watch ourselves judging and criticizing and condemning others...". As you judge others, you will be judged. If you haven't overcome giving up that addiction to a candy bar each day, may I suggest not judging the one addicted to alcohol?It is with what measure we measure is what is used upon us.Again, you don't like the coworker gossiping about another? Why are you telling someone else how you "don't like that".... in turn, gossiping?
****Be watchful over your motives more than your neighbor, spouse, kid, coworker, leader, etc.***
KEY ~~~ You can also check out Luke 6. There is a lot here. The first part Jesus removes the mindsets of those still living in the law. Verse 26 starts to speak on HOW WE HANDLE OUR ENEMIES (those that hurt us in church). Verse 36 speaks on JUDGE and you too will be JUDGED. For with the measure you DEAL OUT will be the measure DEALT with you. So let’s be merciful and gracious as we learn in this area.
KEY ~~~ In Luke 6 Verse 43, I want to make a point with this. Here are my thoughts! It speaks on the fruit. Which is what a man judges HIMSELF with. FRUIT is something that comes and grows and stays on the tree until ripened. It is also REPEATED, it returns. It’s not a "mistake" or a "reaction". When someone swerves on the road is not fruit, its a reaction, a weed. So judging them to say "they are inconsiderate" is a judgment. When your family member cusses at you, it MAY not be fruit and may just be a reaction to pain.
Try to discern what is fruit or weed. Again a fruit comes, grows and stays on a tree and RETURNS. If it is a "pop up", like one time, it may be from pain and is like a weed or foreign plant that is uprooted and removed as soon as the Gardner sees it.
So when our brother and sister fails you, hurts you or dishonors you, this may not be a fruit. There are many scenarios as in why someone may have a moment of "out of character". If their life represents the good then that is their fruit. Let’s quit cutting down the whole tree because of a small thorn or weed that was allowed to pop up. And let’s give Gardner time to reveal, remove and prune!
KEY ~~~ We are not to be judges who judge another by the law. There is only one judge, Christ. James 4:11-12 It also states that if we judge by the law, we will then have to live by the law. There's no way we can all follow the law and live by it and live. As we shared above, the law, not followed, brings death. But we do not have to follow the law as Christ fulfilled the law and we now live in Him and He in us. It also states that as you judge another you then condemn yourself=Romans 2:1. Romans 4 speaks on the Law is not righteousness but FAITH is righteousness. So being good enough, following rules doesn’t make us right with God. FAITH MAKES US RIGHT WITH GOD.
SO WHAT IS THE SOLUTION!?!?
Everyone has their own journey. Romans 14:1-13 These verses are amazing. They show us that we are not to judge another’s decisions. God has them on the journey with Him. We have to trust that. Take these and study them. Let God create within your heart what needs to be known. Allow your mind to shift.
You still are accountable. When someone fails it doesn’t erase the verses that show us how to be. Kind, gentle, loving etc. It actually states we are to bless our enemies. If we feel someone has wronged another so much then they become our enemy. And we are then to treat them with kindness, live at peace with everyone, turn the other cheek and even give them the shirt off our back! Romans 12:16-21.
Think of yourself.If you failed, how would you want to be treated? Not what you think is right or what you learned was right. But what would you want to do or have be done to overcome and see yourself in that time. Matthew 7:12
Judge yourself. 2 Corinthians 5. It’s important to know where we are and what we are dealing with within. We need to know ourselves enough that we know our weaknesses and how God wants us walking through it. Sometimes it’s an instant overcoming, a miracle, but sometimes it’s a learning. A process. Hebrews 4:12 is great reminder that the word helps us judge ourselves and keep us accountable. It discerns between the soul and spirit as we might not always know. Go figure! :-) Galatians 6:1-6 shares again how we are to judge ourselves and be more gentle on judging others. 2 Timothy 3:14-17 speaks more on knowing what He’s dealing with in us and connecting with scriptures.
Don’t think too highly of yourself. We are not to esteem ourselves more highly than we out (Phil. 2) and we are to judge ourselves according to the degree of faith apportioned by God to us. Romans 12:3. So don’t compare yourself to another. It won’t work and it’s not affective.
Be constantly renewing our minds.constantly confronting and constantly seeing ourselves at the next best version... the next best place...
Remember. Gods focus is not to condemn the world. So ours shouldn’t be either. He didn’t send His son for the sins but for connection back to Him. Relationship is more a focus to Him than sin. John 3:17, John 12:46-47. Jesus fulfilled the law. The judgment isn’t upon us because we have passed from death to life. John 5:24. Romans 6:23.
Watch your words.For by them you will be judged. If you’ve already failed like me, repent and receive forgiveness. Matthew 12:36-37
If you want to be holy and help another.Stick with these verses! Judge your own motives. “But the wisdom from above is first pure [morally and spiritually undefiled], then peace-loving [courteous, considerate], gentle, reasonable [and willing to listen], full of compassion and good fruits. It is unwavering, without [self-righteous] hypocrisy [and self-serving guile].”
JAMES 3:17 AMP Ephesians 4:29 is self explanatory with only speaking words that build up. Again he isn’t saying “only to those that are good”. There is no limits to where our kindness can go, or should go.
So when can we judge!?!When it is fruit or if you are without sin you can judge... John 8:7. There is no reason that gives us the freedom to judge another human being WITHOUT it coming back to you. So having our alignment with Christ and walking out our own salvation is important. The conviction needed also comes from within a man, not us. Jesus is the one that draws them to Himself. Not us. We must be the carriers of love and do as spoken in Luke 6. Galatians 6 is good here as well.
Remember. Judgements doesn’t feed us, they exclude us. Redemption and the power of what Jesus accomplished should always be louder. Along with His character and purpose. Connection.
If you read part one first, I hope you have had time to think about your heart. What's in it and what you may be carrying. In this blog we will start with looking at how do we heal, surrendering our hearts and getting closer to becoming the truest version of our self.
First, lets discuss what areas of weakness or hidden areas that may be in our hearts that we need to address. This isn't a full list of areas, but it will help give you the idea of what I am writing about.
Not knowing ourselves.
Most of us do not give thought about truly KNOWING who we are. We grow up believing we are what we feel and think. Have you ever had a time where you think about WHY we feel or think this way or behave a certain way? Have you went gone further than a thought or feeling or just accepted them?
You may have heard people making statements like: "I have always been this way", "my mom was like this and my grandma, it's just who I am", "I just have an anger issue", "I haven't been that way since middle school". Many do not tap into asking WHY? Why do I feel this way?. They accept these statements, feelings and failures, as their identity instead of asking is this me? Do I really want to be this way? or Why am I thinking this?.
We also may not want to know ourselves. I spent the majority of my life not being "alone" with myself. I don't think I knew at all that I was doing it. But I do feel I was embarrassed, ashamed or just unhappy with who I was, or who I thought I was. In actuality I was a "good girl" but I wasn't a "true to myself" girl. I compared myself with others that were not choosing life. So I was a failure even if I was "good" because they didn't accept me. Truly "acceptance" back then was an 'agree with me' or 'hang out with me' point of view.
Part of hiding myself was the fact that I had some abuse growing up and it carried with me. It made me feel less than and not accepted by anyone that "acted" like they accepted me. It was a belief I created and believed from age 2. "I am unacceptable." This led to a life of rejection from myself and others.
So there may be many reasons why you may not be tapping into knowing yourself. Many things hindering you to have the courage to SEE it and to HEAL it. To me, I believe this is why we need the "blood flowing in" the heart. As our analogy of the natural heart, it's the LUNG (God) and the BODY (community) that will help us be the best version of ourselves.
BLOOD FLOWING INTO OUR HEARTS
WE NEED GOD.
Our creator knows us the best. He truly speaks to us intimately when we give Him the time and space to do so. He knows our present, past and our future. What better person to have on your side!
I remember one of the first times God revealed something to me with just Him and I involved for my heart. It was something to the effect of "you get angry at people when they don't do what you want". This sounds bad, right?!? It did to me at the time too. But we must take the next step. Asking ourselves why do I do this?, what am I believing? etc. He showed me it was out of a place of rejection. I would hurt and reject them before they could me. All stemming from the lie I adopted at age 2 "I am unacceptable".
Give it a try. Sit and chat with Him and ask Him for any area of your heart that needs His presence. And WATCH Him answer. Remember His voice is so vast and so beyond our thinking but simple enough to reach us where we are at! His voice will not go against His nature written within His word and the truth that HE IS FOR YOU! (If you need more in this area, message me!)
WE NEED COMMUNITY.
We are encouraged to have community, connect or meet up groups for almost every area of our lives. I think doing it for self awareness and growth is a must as well. You may have heard of the blind spot theory. Every person has a blind spot that they are unaware of or may be intentionally ignoring. There's most likely something within us that we don't fully understand, have no desire to change, or it is simply too hard to change so we accept it as is. You can find more about this in the Johari Window link, here. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johari_window
When others are around us, we must see it as an opportunity for ourselves to be revealed. The blind spot can be seen. If you are married, live with a family or have kids, you may know very well what comes up when others are in your "space". It's revealing. It can be used for good, where you acknowledge, accept and work for change, or you can hide and work to keep it away from others' influence. Either way you are using up energy and most likely more when you have to keep it hidden. I do believe the truth will manifest at some point of your life, so why not make it intentional and not have it revealed outside of your control.
Doing our part - "GUARDING OUR HEARTS"
What do we do individually to help or hurt our own hearts? How do we see our hearts? Our souls? Do we take it serious? To protect and heal it as we do our bodies? Let's dig into this a little further.
Self preserving vs guarding our hearts
Protection. Self preservation.
This may take a bit of chewing to process. Protection is part of our job with "guarding our hearts" but protection is not only our job.
Many take pride in choosing to protect themselves and believing it's the right thing to do. Creating walls to not let people hurt them or to keep themselves safe. Stating things like: I won't be letting them near me again, he won't be doing this to me anymore, she will never say that to me again, or I was stupid letting them in and it won't happen again. These are walls. They don't let ANYONE in. Good or bad. God or the enemy. A wall is up and it doesn't move. (All my boundary lovers, hang in, we will discuss those below)
This may sound good when we say it BUT WE MUST GO DEEPER TO UNDERSTAND AND KNOW OURSELVES and know where we are at when we set up this wall. We need to ask questions like: 1. What did this person do to me? 2. Have I forgiven this person? 3. Do I feel I need to forgive this person? 4. Does this person deserve punishment? 5. Have I surrendered control of the situation and the person? 6. Does TRUST in God have any play with my decision?.
These questions should reveal your heart. Is it pure or is it out for vengeance from a wound? Are you able to have a love feeling when you think of that person or is it a hit in the gut feeling or hit them feeling? Whenever we are not "healed" from a hurt, we make decisions out of the ME mentality and the vengeance state of being. The "hard gut hit" is usually our souls/heart saying they are CRAP, and don't speak to them. This is not the empowered or overcoming choice.
When you make a decision it should be from empowerment and not a judgement. From forgiveness and not from condemning. From love and not from hate. For me, I have this rule. I personally do not trust myself 100% when I am hurt. I have learned the hard way that I JUST MIGHT not know everything. LOL This is where we need the "blood flowing" in, as in the natural heart analogy. The blood comes from the lungs (God) and from the body (community). We need God and/or a third party to intervene and give us insight when we are hurt. I turn to someone that is an expert in the field I am in or invite God to correct me. If I don't hear anything from God, I usually will still invite another to speak into the situation before I respond or make a decision. To me, this is being true to ourselves and taking care of ourselves and the world! Honestly I believe it is a life long process of learning and revealing to know ourselves. So don't get overwhelmed here. Walk it out.
Guarding our hearts!
So if we can't protect ourselves this way, how do we keep ourselves safe? We must learn that our hearts truest desire is connection. Instead of a wall, lets build boundaries. Boundaries should always have the other person in mind and not just ourselves. Boundaries are given to protect the connection and not to keep out. It leaves a space for redemption and hope. Division and strife are not part of redemption and hope. They are NOT kingdom! They are part of the enemy's scheme of "accusing the brethren". Don't have a play with him. Shoot for connection, redemption and hope!
Let me know what you think. Anything you disagree with and what I might can add! Chat with you soon!
This blog is written in hopes to inspire you to be an amazing YOU! To be real, honest, loving and kind. First to YOURSELF and then to others!