I’m sick of being judged! What can I do?

QUESTION:
Sometimes I feel like other Christian Scientists judge me, but I want to feel a part of the community.  How can I get past their judgment?

Suzette PerkinsSuzette Perkins says: As part of a close knit school community, I had ideas about how things could be done better. It’s easy to size things up and offer opinions (whether others want them or not!).  And I offered plenty.

I felt part of my kids’ school community and that was important to me.  But my participation was full of judgment and side conversations that I kept excusing because I knew best.  My criticism wove its way around things like how to hire teachers, run recess, deal with curriculum needs, make the school sustainable, fund raise and more.

It didn’t feel good.  Did I really want to live in continual judgment?

Jesus gave me a role model for effective community participation.  His disciples asked him “Who is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?” 1)  He didn’t mention the mom!  He indicated that children — and humility — held the key to enter the Kingdom.

And then suddenly, my husband passed on.  Within a day or two, a letter arrived from the person I’d judged — and found deficient.  The head of the school said she guaranteed my children’s education through 8th grade. This was an $85,000 gift.  It took my breath away.

But there was more.

She took action to make sure my kids had everything they needed at school to help them through this tough time.

She was grace personified.  She knew how to be the bigger person.  Her childlike example taught me.  She taught me how to give grace to her.

I’d had community all along, but when I stopped the judging, I had peace — in thought, heart, and practice.

With any group of humans, a culture tends to grow — lots of unwritten as well as written rules shove us around.  If a human yardstick comes out, it sets up a contest.  But I’ve learned to walk away from the contest and now I’m free.

 Suzette is a Christian Science practitioner based in St. Louis, MO.

What do YOU think? Add your comment below.

Notes:

  1. Matthew 18:1 NLT

Comments

  1. Nila says:

    Why do people feel its ok to judge when if they’re honest their lives aren’t perfect

    • Suzette says:

      seems like i judge when i’m feeling unsure or trying to put something in  a prescribed thought folder – so i might feel more comfortable i guess – with what is in front of me – although i know i have to eventually reconcile it to feel peace

  2. Suzette says:

    “that’s not contributing to the culture of spirit i want to live in.”  Thanks ctprice- i love your decision of where you want to live;)

    Annette-D   HUGE radical act to let others in to participate in their way. Thanks!!!  Seems like people tend to support what they help to create – thus the benefit of inviting all in -gaining unity – steps to world peace…

  3. Annette-D says:

    Love the idea of wearing a ring with the word “grace” on it as a reminder–sometimes I think I need to wear a big hefty rubber band to snap myself!  :)

    Many years ago when my kids were in grade school, I participated a lot in the parent/teacher group.  The school was in a low income neighborhood, so a lot of the parents were single, and didn’t really have time to volunteer much.  And quite honestly, they didn’t have the confidence to feel their contribution was that great anyway.  For awhile I felt it was easier to just do the work myself, then I’d know it would get done on time and in the way I thought was best.  But, as I got to know the other parents, and worked w/ them in the way they could manage, I could see that everyone had something good to give.  Would they all do it the way I would?  No.  But, the point was to involve everyone and appreciate what they had the time and energy to offer.  It really was a bigger blessing to the students.  There’s nothing quite so great as a little kid seeing their mom care enough about their school to cut out snowflakes for their classroom or whatever.

    The same could be said about church work.  That’s why I love rotation in office.  For me, the key has been to look for strengths in other people’s contributions.  The beauty of people doing things their way, is that it’s NOT my way!  It’s fresh to me.  I love it!

  4. ctprice says:

    “The people who thrive are the ones who fit the culture best.” Word.

     

    Thanks for sharing that, mountaingirl2. and to all of you. That idea makes me think about how we can choose to create our own culture wherever we go instead of feeling constricted by an unhealthy one that’s in place. that’s such hard work! but i think its worth it.

    i just found this thread after i found myself getting very upset at someone who i know treated someone i love very poorly. it felt totally justified to judge and hate this other person. that’s not contributing to the culture of spirit i want to live in. thanks for this thread, and for reminding me which culture I want to be building– one of forgiveness, grace, and the Golden Rule. it’s not easy but we can forgive ourselves for the times we do judge, and turn right around and return blessing for cursing. thank you all for striving to do that : )

  5. Suzette says:

    Yes, thanks Dian – “casting the beam out” helped me when I lost the sight in one eye – the link shares the healing of sight restored.
    http://media.christianscience.com/player/approval/index.php?src=http://media.christianscience.com/approvals/sentinel/1203xx/senr_816.mp3

    Albort – love your honesty about getting to the silent judgements that try to take over – (at least for me) – at the crosswalk, in a mtg, a gathering of loves ones, etc   Seems like a big true – false test. If i’m judging … is it what God knows/created or is it personal preference/opinion that isn’t good – thus not of God?
    Righteous judgement feels to me like what God knows/creates/cares for and judgement feels like “my” opinion – something that wants to weigh me down and is asking for me to carry/drag it around – find opportunities to tell it to others etc
    I try to reconcile thoughts by seeing if I can follow the thought out and if it becomes finite – it doesn’t feel sustainable to me.   As i seek the infinite – ie God is all – my judgements can’t reside in that idea of allness – which aids me in dropping the i.
    Eddy’s 6 words on p. 207 in Science and Health continually help me – “There is but one primal cause.”  I’m busted, i have to match thought to that – if i can’t – it helps me realize i need to dump the finite and gaze at the Infinite.
    This does not feel easy to me – it is simple- but takes constant vigilance bringing “every thought to the obedience of Christ”  II Cor 10:5
    I use reminders – like wearing a ring with the word – grace- imprinted on it to help me think about/see grace and sometimes carry a smooth shell or stone in my pocket to rub between my fingers to help keep thought focused during a meeting/conversation or when i’m seeking to be still.
    What helps you all ??? – please share your battles/victories/guides;)

  6. Denny says:

    That’s a great story, Suzette. Your coworker was a great example of how to get past feeling judged — I guess her approach was to take the “high road” which is always good. Do you (or anybody else) have any other specific actions you might take to either stop judging or to deal with the judgements of others?

    I have found myself that just remembering Jesus’ words: “Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven.” is a huge step. Every time I run across those I kind of stop and think about how I’m doing with it. And most recently I thought, even if I’m not judging others verbally to their face or to others, there’s still my silent judgement which seems to be the hardest thing to stay alert to.

    Oh, and there’s also, “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.” How do tell the difference between being judgemental and “righteous judgement?”

  7. dian says:

    It all comes back to removing the beam from our own eye!

  8. Suzette says:

    Agreed Audrey! Voting others off the island is EASY. It takes work to reconcile our thought about another or ourself as Debra states.  And  as Mountaingirl2 says …. those thrive that tend to fit a culture – which begs the question – what/who am I trying to fit?

    While sizing up a relationship a few years ago –  a CLEAR dropdown in thought was “if I judge – i am really judging God!”  I love the concept of our heritage given us in Gen 1 of who we are – made in His image and likeness - thus there is one man – this helps me catch judgement as it tries to take stage as i do the day. Another stopper/guide for me is the golden rule – cuz i don’t like being judged – can i do that for another ?

    i love Jolene’s radical nature about doing it with someone she is uncomfortable with!!! Which is really JCON’s*  whole deal;) you gotta love the Master!!!

    *Jesus Christ of Nazareth

  9. Jolene says:

    “I used to say that the only thing I judged was others who judge, which meant I was judging myself ultimately.  A catch-22.”

    Insightful!

    And “The people who thrive are the ones who fit the culture best.”

    But that doesn’t make for the richest community, just the easiest community.  I’m vowing to reach out to one person today who makes me feel uncomfortable.  And to do it without judgement.

  10. Audrey is right; there is definitely room for improvement in making everyone feel accepted. Every religion/church has its culture, and the CS churches are no exception. The people who thrive are the ones who fit the culture best. Will that ever change? I know I feel outside it myself.

    But what Debra says is true also. If we judge others for judging us…it’s an impossible cycle. Maybe we can’t get out of the cycle without rising above it somehow and seeing everyone as included in God’s kingdom, forgetting the “Scientist” “non-Scientist” labels. I doubt God uses those.

  11. Debra Woodward says:

    I, too, have felt judged by others.  In fact, I used to say that the only thing I judged was others who judge, which meant I was judging myself ultimately.  A catch-22.  It takes a lot of humility to have self-compassion.  And really we are our own worst critics.  So for the last couple of years I have been learning everything I can about self-compassion, which is accepting ourselves for who we are, mistakes and all–knowing we would do better if we could.  When we can do that, we can offer that compassion to others and model unconditional love.  ”I love you even if you judge me.”  When we can do that, then we won’t be bothered by what other people think.  Our response will always be love.  We will no longer be seeking their love and approval, we will be giving that to ourselves knowing it comes from our Father/Mother God and that we are its expression–we are the form it takes in the world.  This is a gift we can give to those who are confused about love and judge others.

  12. Audrey says:

    Yes for calling a spade a spade!  It makes me furious when I see people getting shunned in a CHURCH.  Lets get beyond that

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