I was at an event recently and I couldn’t help but notice a woman who stood out to me. She kept looking at other women in her general area, but not in friendly, approachable sort of way. It was more of a “look them up and down” sort of way. I actually felt offended, and she was not even looking at me! I am no mind reader, but the way this woman appeared to be assessing other women in a very unfriendly manner just screamed “judgment” to me.
Let me divulge that I am southerner, and I am all about trying to be friendly to others. I try my best to smile at other people on a regular basis. I appreciate receiving a return smile back. It sounds a little cliché, but I truly believe that if we were all a little kinder to one and other, the world would be a much brighter place. You just never know what a friendly smile or word of encouragement can do for another person.
But as I watched this particular woman, it was obvious that there was nothing about this interaction that was in any way, shape, or form “friendly.” It just seemed to me like she was in total judgment mode – the term judgement just kept popping into my mind over and over.
I began to think: Do I ever do this?
God often works in mysterious ways, doesn’t he? While I was watching this woman, I began to hear that still small voice speaking directly to me. No, I had not been judging anyone’s appearance that day, but I had been actively engaged in judging someone for different reasons. I had definitely not been treating the person that I had been judging with the love and kindness that I should have been.
God showed me in that moment that I had allowed a judgmental attitude toward another human being to root itself inside of my heart – and I was sitting in a prideful place because of it. I also realized that the judgment I had become so comfortable with was truly related to my own perceived shortcomings – essentially, I had been judging myself. After this realization, I knew I had work to do. As David tells us in Psalm 32, I first had to acknowledge my sin and then confess my transgressions. I asked God to forgive me for the judgement I had been harboring and I invited him to search my heart and expose to me my areas of weakness. Through my father’s infinite mercy and compassion, I was forgiven.
Listening to the Still Small Voice
I pondered how often I turn from God because I feel good where I am at, even when he is pointing out to me that I am wrong? I now listen intently for the guidance of that still small voice inside, who shows me the error of my ways and rejoices when I listen in obedience. As I learn to listen more intently, the still small voice becomes louder and easier for me to identify.
Another reward of listening to the still small voice of the Holy Spirit is that I am slowly changing my relationship with food, physical activity, and body image. The still small voice inside of me guides me to the proper choices for me to make in order to feel healthy spiritually, emotionally, and physically…. All have to do is listen.
Is there anything that your still small voice has been pointing out that you have not been willing to truly hear? It takes courage to look deep within yourself and to admit your own afflictions. But when you are willing to do so, you will begin to develop a deeper intimacy with God – and honestly what could be better than that?
Summer Mauney lives in sunny South Florida. She love to craft, bake, and spend time with her family. She’s passionate about good coffee and showing kindness to others. Read Summer’s posts here.