Tag Archives: judging

Mind Your own Business

You can color me guilty. I most always have an opinion. But I thank God for the Holy Spirit that indwells within me and jerks a knot in my knickers when I begin to focus on the life or lifestyle of another person. When I begin to think that I need to do a running commentary. It’s usually just inside my head. It’s sometimes to those close to me. It’s seldom ever, if ever to the person for which I’m forming an opinion. I’m not that brazen, or stupid.

But it’s become quite obvious to me lately that not everyone has the ability to know when to keep their mouth shut. And no, I’m not thinking of anyone in particular. Just many, many, many people in general. It’s an epidemic! And because of social media, the world has a stage.

If you go to “The Jesus Chick” page or my own personal page for “Shari Hardway Johnson”, as well as my twitter feed and Instagram, you’ll note that it’s positive commentary and images. That’s not a holier than thou statement, it’s just truth. I don’t want to be in anyone’s drama, or a discouragement. So my posts are positive. I made that choice, and I’m pretty sure God agrees with me.

Proverbs 5:15

Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well.

I read that this morning and thought, “there it is. What I’d like to tell every nosy, ne’er do well in the world. Mind your own business!”

Who makes these people judge and jury of the lives of someone else and what skeletons would come crawling out of their closet if the door was open?

Although it is far worse in the political arena, or at least it far more outspoken, it’s just as bad in the church. And I speak collectively, not of any in particular.

I think of an incident many, many years ago in my own church where a young woman with several children had the audacity to come to church without a slip under her dress. Oh my stars! And as she exited the ladies room a ne’er do well woman said to me, “can you believe she forgot her slip.” To which I responded, “With all those kids, I just praise God she gets here on Sunday morning.”

Where on earth was this woman’s mind? And why did she think she had the right to tear down a young mother trying to do the right thing?

Now, that may seem trivial. But a comment like that is what will discourage someone, who’s struggling anyway, to decide to leave the church. And that could be devastating to a family and Hell bound someone because of it.

The longer I travel this road with Jesus, the more I realize the focus of the church is so off kilter.

I personally love pretty clothes. And God has gifted me with several. But I don’t love them because I think they’re holy, I just love girly stuff. God made me that way. I also have a personal conviction that when I go into a church I dress in their common attire. If they’re casual, so am I. If they’re fancy, I try to be a fancy Nancy too and I enjoy it. But I don’t look at anyone who’s not in the common attire and think about their heart toward Christ. Clothes do not make the man. The Spirit of God does. And I’ve known people who looked like ragamuffins that I was in awe with the depth of their relationship with God.

I’ll not tell you that I am above judging. It’s human nature. Or that I don’t have other issues in life. But it’s something that makes me so nauseous because I’ve seen the damage it’s done, especially in the circles I travel of the Independent Baptist realm. Trust me, they’re not all the same. That’s why we’re “independent.” I’d probably be kicked out of some.

My faith is not in the denomination. It’s in God. But I agree with the doctrine of my church and so I’m there and I love my people. Mainly because the vast majority are not judgers. They love all people. Even if their knees are showing. Insert smile here. Even if they’re a girl who wears britches. Or a fella that’s a t-shirt, blue jean, work boot kind of guy. We love them.

So does Jesus. And this morning I think I’m delivering His message when I say. Mind your own business.

Insert smile here.

Where are the Accusers?

chick rock

“Woman where are those thine accusers?” – John 8:10b

Last night I was the woman standing in the midst… of five little girls. I say little, and yet not so little, they were young teens. Actually I was sitting, playing and teaching guitar. One of the girls had recently attended a revival where I had sung a song I had written called “When Misery Met Mercy,” and she asked me if I’d sing it for them. What an honor! And an opportunity. I began to tell them the story of the woman caught in adultery and they were amazed. They’d not heard that story, nor had they heard that adultery was wrong. I’m shocked at my own naivety sometimes. I grew up with the teaching of bible morals and I just assume that the rest of the world at least knows, even if they choose to ignore it. But the shock in the young girl’s voice was evidence clear in my mind that she really had no idea that adultery was a sin… and for a second I judged…

Not her but the world around her. And then this morning I ponder this thought, and I am convicted of my own rock throwing. It’s so easy to become that religious crowd. An honest to goodness rock throwing Pharisee is what I felt like.

In irony, the night I sang that song at the revival a man preached who was fighting his way back from addiction, which was almost as hard as fighting his way back from the judgement of rock throwing Pharisees. And that night I was angry at the church people who had thought they had the right to sit in the seat of God and tell a man who has fallen, but gotten up, that he has no right to stand for Jesus. Who were they to condemn a man Who God had said “Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.” John 8:11b

Who am I?

Jesus said to the crowd that lingered behind, the ones who hadn’t picked up the stones, they were only spectators, “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” And there I was a child of the living God, privileged to walk in the light of life and yet blinded to the world around me. I was a spectator. I didn’t throw the rock, but I sure didn’t feel as if I’d been defending that little girl either. I did not know her world, and yet every day I live in it.

I have no right to judge her world, especially if I’m not willing to go out into it. The religious crowd goes out into the world and drags the sins of the world before the church and says “We are better!” A child of God goes out into the world and says “I am you… the only difference is I’m forgiven.”

And then they share forgiveness.

No rock throwing for me today… just tears of compassion. Please continue to pray for our camp.

Stop Judging Drummers

I love pickin’ and grinnin’ with my bluegrass friends. It makes my heart happy to play “Old Joe Clark” and “Angelina Baker” on the fiddle and to strum my way through “Child of the King” on the guitar. There’s something about music that makes life fun! I feel the same way about serving Christ only multiplied. Whether it’s sharing the gospel in word or song you’ll find me grinnin’ ear to ear with unexplainable joy in my soul. That is why I don’t get sad sack Christians who are spoiling the fun for the rest of us and not giving anyone who’s lost a desire to know the One who put a giggle in my soul.

At a local bluegrass event last night I invited a fella to church and made him very uncomfortable. He said he couldn’t go to church because it always seemed like the preacher was preaching right at him. I told him that that’s how it was for every one there; there was a personal message from God to everyone who attended. I tried to explain to him what fun we had in church… he smiled and nodded politely and quickly changed back to a less convicting subject. And then I thought of a few saints that I know; if they’re happy about their salvation they forgot to tell their face, their mouth and their attitude. Is it any wonder that a lost and dying world doesn’t see the need for Jesus, they can miserable in their own right?

As we played music and laughed in the fellowship of musicians (they’re highly tolerate of my inability to cut the muster with their masterful bluegrass skills) they loved me anyway. Diehard bluegrassers can be a tad clickish. They’ll kick you out of the club for playing drums. It’s true! Traditional bluegrass people play strings, drums don’t have strings so they’re not allowed in the band. Well, I know a few Baptist who feel the same way about Methodist and visa versa. Just sayin’…. And all the while the world around us dies and goes to Hell because the church spends more time worrying about who’s got sticks and who’s got strings. Can I get a witness? Enough already.

Just speak Jesus. And smile for cyrin’ out loud.

Matthew 6:16

Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

Will the religious Pharisees and Sadducees please get with the program? Church is fun! And the really funny part for me (although it’s not really all that funny) is your reward is your grumpy britches. Me? I get to have a party down here and in Heaven! But the really sad part about it is that our friends and family believe that there’s no joy in Church because there’s no joy in the face of the church they see. It’s Saturday… and my thoughts are already on Sunday, because I anticipate joy in the house of the Lord. If you’re a child of God that should be your heart as well, else you’re living beneath God’s intended design.

And stop judging drummers….