It's been seven months since I started blogging. I've really enjoyed being able to put my thoughts in one place. I don't know how many people actually read what I write, but that really is not why I began writing in the first place. I desired an outlet and here it is.
What I've learned from blogging: Most of the time, blogging is a fun positive experience. The people who read my posts relate to them. They are either parents, fellow believers in Christ, or both. It seems a comfort to me to discover that people share similar trials whether it is a fight with a clogged toilette or a spiritual warfare issue. It is also a comfort connecting with friends who can share and help bear my burdens, so to speak. This is the best of blogging. I like to believe that that's what blogging was intended to do; create a community of people separated by miles bringing what would be impossible relationships right into your living room, home office, or iphone (if you're lucky).
To contrast that: The worst aspect of blogging is hearing from folks who are hateful. What blows my mind are people out in digital land that take it upon themselves to rip apart my faith and my family simply because they don't like what I write. Many of you may believe I'm giving them a voice by writing this. Perhaps that is true. I will say that EVERY time I've been contacted by one of these folks it has been because of my spirituality and my belief in Jesus. My perception of these anonymous posters is...
bitterness that I have a belief system,
irritation that I have standards,
and hatred that I choose to live by them.
The commonality that each of these posts share is the clear indication that they feel "judged". Most of them express disdain with Christianity because of previous bad experiences within it. I don't blame them for resenting structured religion. I share many similar issues and experiences, I'm sure. I, however, chose to love Christ and cling to Him and all the wonderful believers in this world, rather than systematically accuse or blame all of Christendom for my personal hardships. Regardless, of whether or not anyone wants to admit it, true Christianity promotes love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (the fruits of the spirit-The book of Galatians 5:22).
In respect to the "judged" feeling. I will say this. I have heard this same contention between fellow Christians. It stems from a passage in Matthew 7 where Christ says, "Judge not, that you be not judged". It seems to be the go-to verse when someone feels attacked or has sore toes from a sermon, fellow Christian...or blog in this case. However, There are also verses that describe "encouraging the fainthearted and helping the weak" (1 Thessalonians 5:14), and verses that state "if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him gently" (Galatians 6:5). You don't hear those verses very much these days. It appears to not be politically correct or tolerable in any situation to restore another person. We like to uphold the 'you take care of you, and I'll take care of me' mentality...even though that was never the case in early Christianity and pretty much a ludicrous notion considering the early church.
In reality, who wants to hear that their personal behavior could/should be modified? It is an uncomfortable feeling. I'm the first to admit that.
Here is what I examined over the last few days. The definition of judgment is... the cognitive process of reaching a decision or drawing conclusions. Being judged is being informed of one's final conclusion. It is defining the end of what a thing is or is to become.
Here's my point with all this.. We can't continue to assume that making a factual statement is a judgment, especially within the bounds of spirituality.
If I say I own pug dog, it is because I own a pug dog.
If I say my friend has red hair, it is because she has red hair.
If I say someone sleeps through a sermon, it is because I saw them sleep through a sermon.
If factual statements define you, it is an opportunity not a judgment. It is the point where you decide to determine your future. A factual statement is not a death sentence or a leaning toward an eternal resting place. I don't feel I should apologize for stating facts. If facts bother you, then readjust that which defines you.
I write about my life; my personal struggles with spirituality within a community, and my struggles with parenting. I like to hold people accountable to that which they are promised: Christ. I've been known to point out inconsistencies within the church or ask people for authenticity. None of which make mention of eternal judgment. None. On this, I will defend myself.
People actually believe they can convert me to their limited scope of spirituality by being mean and nasty. Let me clue you in on another secret...chances are if you approach me in a hateful manner, if you attack my family or friends, if you are crude or call names...you lost me the minute you clicked "post".
If you are respectful of my faith, my friends, and my family...then we can have a discussion. I welcome it.
Don't play the judgment card though. That is not my department.