Sometimes what I’m studying can feel like a hammer, and I’m almost afraid to share it, because even though it was helpful to me, it required focus and dedication and determination that I didn’t know that I was even capable of. Part of me screams out, no, they’re barely floating and you’re tossing them an anvil. But it was a lifesaver to me, so who am I to think that it is to heavy for someone else?
Then I think about the training and focus and determination that my dad and his triathlon coach have because of the training they put in for Ironman competitions and because of their discipline to put it into action. And my concern fades away, because I realize people don’t have to eat what I’m eating – but if it’s helpful to me, I’ll leave some crumbs on the table by sharing what is for me, because it might just be helpful to someone else as well.
I also find that sometimes as I’m trying to work on an area of my life, it can make others close to me uncomfortable because I’m no longer wanting something we had in common to be a part of my life. It happens practically every time that we decide to lay something down that we believe isn’t profitable in our lives anymore. The people around us that are still doing those things usually look at us as if our wanting to change is somehow a judgement or condemnation of their choices as well.
I think that many times, people misunderstand their own conviction about things they realize they should probably lay down, especially when they see someone else doing it or talking about it. They misunderstand someone moving away from a thing or practice asmovingaway from them. They misinterpret that as the person judging them, when it isn’t even about them at all.
I’ve found that when someone thinks that I’m “judging them”, it’s often a person mistaking my own personal conviction about what I do or don’t want to be a part of anymore – as me “judging their heart”. It’s as if they think that they have the right to tell me what I can or can’t do because of how it makes them feel about themselves – not about anything that I’ve done to them or said about them.
It’s like they’ve lost their own personal identity and they identify instead as being that “thing”, so if I turn away from the “thing”, they automatically think that I’m turning away from them. It’s just not so!
Do I want to live in a world where people don’t lie, cheat, steal, gossip, murder, tape, abuse, slander, oppress, ridicule, manipulate, trick and hurt each other? Yes! Do I think that right is right and wrong is wrong? Yes. Do I want to participate in those things? No!
Do I think that I need to be your policeman, judge, and jury? No!
If someone says that they want to follow Christ and live like Christ, am I supposed to throw them a life preserver if they are drowning? Yes! But only because they have acknowledged that they want to be saved from that old life.
Throwing a lifesaver to a diver that loves the depths of the darkness is foolish, because they have no interest in using it. In fact, they will likely throw it back at you saying things like, “You can’t judge me! I don’t need that!” – claiming they are standing on the mountaintop already, as instead, they set their eyes deeper on finding a little more treasure from the depths of the darkness.