A while ago I was judged…openly, verbally, shockingly…judged. I listened to the voice on the phone and my jaw literally dropped! I was stunned and amazed at the words on the other end. They were words assessing my validity, integrity, and honesty, and they weren’t kind. I hung up the phone and the room was spinning! I tried to gain some composure within myself, but I didn’t know how to process how UNFAIR those feelings were in my heart. Welcome to the world, Stacy! It ain’t always pretty!
In the process of trying to understand it and asking God to help me sort it out, I got a lot of perspective. Here’s some thoughts I wanted to share on how to cope with being judged:
1. Does the Judger even know you? The person on the other end of the phone didn’t know me at all. That day was literally the only day we have ever spoken and it wasn’t on a subject that has any eternal relevance. Frankly, if I had thicker skin, I’d have shrugged my shoulders, hung up the phone, and continued making dinner for my family. After all, I can’t live my life based on the opinions of people who don’t know me at all, and neither can you! Somehow we need to learn how to put value on the opinions of people invested in our growth and limit the effect of the opinions of critics and strangers.
2. Is the Judger forced to make the decision, even if it hurts you? As a leader, I make decisions (judgments) in a split second that may hurt the individual, but I’ve got to look out for the whole. If someone wants to work in our children’s ministry, but I’m not convinced they are reputable, they don’t get through the door…even if they pass a background check. Why? Because I am willing to judge one, as a leader, for the benefit of the whole. It sounds awful, especially if you are on the receiving end of judgment, but we’ve all got to realize that we may be wrongly put in that position one day, and it’s OK. I’d rather have someone wrongly judge me in a split second decision than be too insecure to make hard calls for the benefit of the big picture. If that’s your case, take a deep breath, put down your offense, and work to gain the trust and appreciation of the leader. It’s worth the work, because that’s the type of leader you’ll want to follow.
3. Is the Judger right? If you feel judged and it hurts you, there are one of two reasons why you are wounded…It’s either not true or it is. If you feel judged, weigh it out and look in the mirror. It’s not fun, but it is an opportunity to grow. You may be being fairly judged and you just don’t want to admit it.
No matter what catergory or situation you are in, the biggest thing to keep in mind is that no judgment is worth you carrying an offense. Pray it out, forgive, and get going on to bigger and better things! You’re worth the work of forgiveness! Be blessed!
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