God, please teach me not to judge.
Please. Teach. Me. Not. To. Judge.
Not…to judge the mom at the coffee store who is looking at her phone
when all her toddler wants is her undivided attention.
I do that myself.
Not my husband who is tired when he walks through the door and is looking for rest.
I always want what he requests, but I am terrified to admit it.
Not the driver who nearly side-swiped me last week and then gave me a dirty look.
I nearly drove a car off the road and into shoulder this morning.
Not the woman I consider self-indulgent, self-seeking and far too self-interested.
Many a day, I’ve tried to dress so well, so right, to look perfect. I want to be seen.
Not the family member who is always letting me down, getting under my skin.
God, you really do know, my timely, ordered ways could drive anyone nuts.
Not the person who believes, politically, things far more different and strange than I.
I’ve never walked a day in their shoes.
Not the person I look nothing like.
Just because they don’t reflect me, Jesus, doesn’t mean they don’t reflect you.
Not the person making every single wrong decision in the book.
I made so many bad decisions, I nearly killed myself way back when, but still, hope was never lost.
Not the one who offends me and continually tries to drive me nuts.
Before I run forward with insults, I should remember they likely have a background of pain.
Not me, and all the hundreds of ways I’m offensive.
I let you down all the time, but immediately, Jesus, you toss my offenses on the flip-side of this world when I say, “Sorry.”
Just as much as they are developing, I am too… We are too…
Our stories are complex. Our growth is slow. Our faith is increasing. You’ve planned it this way, God. It takes trust, piles of it. And, space, room to make allowance for others and ourselves.
Yet, when we run to cast labels, decisions, verdicts and opinions on people, we steal this space. We steal the space you’ve given us to observe. Don’t let me steal the wonder of your works. You are working something. You are moving as you will. As I give leeway, you give way to the wonderful work you’ve always intended to do.
When I fill it that space with negativity, captivity, critiques and prognoses, I steal peace, growth, hope and new life. I don’t want my mind, heart and soul filled with these degrading and base motives. What a waste! What a rip-off for them and me!
Stop me from doing that.
God, give me patience to lift others, rather than to hate them.
God, give me eyes to see your beauty in them; it is always there.
God, give me a mouth that affirms differences, not one that pushes them aside.
God, make me into a peace-maker, not a finger-pointer.
God, make me aware of my faults, so I don’t ever believe I’m too good for your calling.
God, make me need others, so I never stand above them.
God, strengthen humility, erase my pride.
God, show me the low road, so I can lift others high.
God, soften my impulses and slow down my need to decide.
God, open a door so I can walk much-needed love inside.
God, soften my heart so I can bridge great divides.
God, remove my tough skin, so you can sink inside.
God, you are the only power I have to change.
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