I saw a picture from a pastor on the hate-to-love platform of Facebook today. It was nondescript, showing no faces. But it was from someone I know on the periphery and I saw the kind of car they drive. It made me mad.
Apparently, I judge pastors.
I’m not a car person. I don’t care about cars, but in this picture a pastor driving his car. A luxury car.
My thoughts bounced around like a pinball:
How does a pastor make enough for that?
Shouldn’t a pastor give his money to people who need it?
Why does a pastor even need a luxury car?
And then I felt a quiet question from inside: why do you care?
Suddenly, the pinball dropped and the game was over. I had no more justifications, no more scathing accusations and assumptions. Just me and my messy heart stuff.
This wasn’t about the pastor’s car, or his heart. It was about mine.
It’s not just pastors I judge, it’s everyone. I know that sounds bad, and really, it is. I’m not mean about it, but deep in my heart I pass judgement after judgement.
What kind of parent does that?
I would never….
Must be nice to have that house.
Look how perfect her clothes are. (cha-ching!)
I’m screaming for people to do life the same way I do so I know I’m okay, I’m doing it right. I dress up these judgements in questions and compliments and raised eyebrow smiles, but dressing them up doesn’t change what they are.
You should know, I don’t like this about myself. I’m not writing praise for my choice, but just being real. In fact, I hate that I do this and would like nothing more than to stop. In order to stop, I need to ask why.
Why do I feel compelled to look around me and use these external things as measuring sticks? I keep using what society says is important to judge the value of someone. But the truth is, it’s really not about them. The truth is, I’m judging me.
I was using the social worth of others to measure my own. And that’s really what it all came down to. Me, being a toddler again.
How come I don’t have a luxury car?
Why doesn’t my hair look that good?
How come I don’t live in a big house?
Why can’t I have that?
I’m repeatedly stomping my foot telling my Father, “It’s not FAIR!”
And I’m guessing I’m not the only one.
Even as I recognize what the core of my judgement is, I hear the truth I say to my own kids over and over:
“Fair doesn’t mean the same. What is best for her is not what is best for you.”1
We have a Father that wants what is best for each of us. He loves us enough to see us and our unique needs, even when we can’t.
We don’t need to measure ourselves against anything another person has or does. God tells us exactly who we are; we just need to believe Him.
This article originally appeared at MyInkDance.com.