“Seriously girlfriend God is sooooo using you without you knowing it. Using your talents and beauty and wisdom to encourage so many girls…“
This was the text. Short and sweet. It’s crazy how some words can carry very little weight at one time of your life and could mean the world in another. I don’t know what it was about these words that got me yesterday, but I know it was exactly what I needed to hear. I needed the encouragement so much in that moment and God was faithful to use a friend to offer that for me…
You know, I almost didn’t write this one. I thought it might make someone upset, but then I realized I never meant for these journal entries to create a comfortable space in the name of watered-down Christianity. And if I didn’t post it would be out of fear and result in people-pleasing. The purpose has always been to share the raw, uncut and real parts of this walk with the Lord from the perspective of a fallible, young woman that loves the Lord who desires to seek His truth and share it with you. So here we go.
Recently, I’ve had some honest conversations with the Lord regarding the issue of how common it is to witness and experience Christians putting each other down. And this entire journal entry is going to be a conversation with God. I’m going to share an inner dialogue with you truly desiring to be real and transparent, and trusting that you understand I’m not intending to imply that my thought process at times is necessarily the most righteous, but it’s transparent and real. And it’s not until I’m honest with the Lord and myself with where I’m at, that I able to allow Him to speak and direct me into a thought process that is honoring to Him.
Here I am questioning You again.
Lord, this life gets so ridiculously rough at times. We have an enemy waiting for us to fall and a world constantly trying to pull us down, but now this? If we are called to encourage each other than tell me why Christians are some of the worst critics?
I’ll speak for myself.
If I post about You on social media then I’m “over saved,” but if I’m silent then I’ve fallen away. Ha.
If I want to blog about what You’re teaching me then I’m just jumping on the “christian blogger bandwagon.” But if I don’t write, they question what I’m doing to serve You. I’ve realized, you just can’t win, like dang. And if hardship has touched my life, they say I must of deserved it somehow. God, you have reminded me over and over that I need to let you be my Defender, but sometimes I just want to call people out like, REALLY?!
Never satisfied with what I’m doing, what I’m saying, what I’m not, where I am or where I’m headed.
Trying to figure me out, while questioning my motives and tracking my every move. Some have belatedly made things up to fill in the missing gaps of their version of my story. It seems to make them too uncomfortable not to have answers, yet they aren’t brave enough to just ask me for them.
Never truly caring enough to seek out the truth for the purpose of understanding, but simply desiring information to satisfy their own flesh.
This kind of stuff you expect from the world, but how much deeper is the wound when it comes from people on the same side? Your side.
Little do they know they can’t challenge me in this. The position of “my worst critic” has been filled by Yours Truly and I don’t need any help. But then, sometimes the people-pleaser in me wants to give them what they want. If they want to criticize everything from the clothes I wear, to the church I attend, to the journal entry I posted, to the quote I shared, to the friends I keep, then I will just give em what they want.
Would they feel better if I did? Would they be happier if I just quit fighting the good fight? What if I really did fall away from the faith? What if the weight of this world grew too heavy for me and what if I did forsake everything I know to be true and stopped trusting in You to save me daily? Would they finally be satisfied?
I don’t think they would.
I’ve seen this happen to other Christians around me. They are judged, condemned and criticized by others and it ends up being too much to carry. It’s all fun and games to slander and look down on another Christian until someone actually walks away from their faith. When it comes down to it, I think it would be heartbreaking to hear that anyone has lost their hope.
Lord, if we aren’t encouraging each other, then what are we doing? I’ve seen Christians get mocked for doing too much and slandered for not doing enough.
And I know I’ve been at fault for this at some point, Lord forgive me. We put each other down out of pure insecurity. Why are we threatened by the zeal and fearlessness of other Christians doing work for the kingdom? We act like their gifts and willingness will somehow take away from our worth. Maybe if we’re honest it’s because we either see their fruits and know we aren’t doing all that we’ve been called to do, or we don’t see them doing anything and it makes us feel better about where we’re at.
It’s heartbreaking when I see so many people being crushed by the weight of the world and then get angry thinking about how selfish we can be by hindering a person’s ability to do God’s work by breaking them down rather than building them up.
Ok, help me to renew my mind to the truth (Romans 12:2). Help us in our humanity. Remind us of Your word. I pray that you create pure hearts in us (Psalm 51:10). Give us the eyes to see people with compassion, give us hearts able to empathize, give us the words to encourage, and give us the wisdom to see that we are being used as a tool for evil when we slander instead of tools of Love (John 13:34). Give us the willingness to stand in the gap for a brother or sister in need (Ezekiel 22:30). Lord teach us to love each other. Teach us to assess for the purpose of wisdom without passing judgement (Matthew 7:2). Redirect our hatred towards sin and darkness. Help us to reject people-pleasing when others contradict what You have called us to do or say. Be our strength as our feeble legs continue down this narrow path.
And I pray that you take our weaknesses, mistakes, sins and failures to mold, refine, and mature us in the faith. I pray for my brothers and sisters struggling with sin and for those so far deep that they can’t see it getting better. Lord, I pray against hopelessness. For those that can’t see the light at the end of a tunnel of darkness, help them to understand that You are right there with them if they would just turn around. I pray that as we continue in this walk with you, we learn to become more like You and less like the world.
I thank you for designing each of us with a unique set of traits, desires, abilities, and passions. I pray that you first teach us who we are in You, then allow us to fully, boldly, passionately, and unapologetically live out our calling by using our gifts and talents for the purpose of Your glory. Unceasingly remind us that our calling is to love people around us with the Love we have experienced. Lord, be my brothers and sisters strength, because I understand all too well how cunning the enemy can be. Remind us of Ephesians 6:12 when we are tempted to believe that this spiritual battle is against flesh and blood. Teach us to build up because it pleases You. We love you. Thank you for Your truth, your patience, Your plan and Your love for us.
In Jesus name I pray.