Just a Little Judgey
Posted on August 22, 2023 by Elizabeth Welte in Victory Call
Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him. Romans 14:3
There I was sitting in a circle of women where I felt like the new kid on the block. In a discussion about disputable matters (those that are not expressly addressed in Scripture as right or wrong), we we were sharing about areas where we would personally be prone to judge or despise. Dare I say what I’m thinking?
Background: Some people at my church, like so many churches these days, drink. I have not personally witnessed nor heard through the grapevine of abuses or problems but, none the less, it is very common. Does it make me uncomfortable? Yes. Why?
My back story: For 18 years I worked for an Addiction Recovery Ministry. Let me back up even further… as new believers my husband and I joined a conservative evangelical church (back in the mid-80’s). Drinking was frowned upon. So when I joined the ministry at America’s Keswick I was already on board regarding the practice of abstaining. Just to be clear – I have never heard any of the leadership at Keswick say that drinking is a sin, which I am in full agreement with.
That being said, over the 18 years with Keswick—I personally saw hundreds and hundreds of men and women arrive at our doors broken, hurting and desperate, leaving in their wake a broad path of devastation. Broken relationships were strewn over the landscape of their lives. Their choices deeply hurt not only themselves but also their parents, spouses, children and friends.
Not every one of them ended up at the Colony of Mercy or Barbara’s Place because of just alcohol but in the vast majority it was part of the picture, somewhere.
So, yes…alcohol (typically wine and craft beer) served at social gatherings among believers, makes me uncomfortable.
So there I was… dare I say what I’m thinking? I know that in a group this size there will be some, if not most, that drink. How will they take what I am saying, even though it is in the context of sharing that it is an area I am prone to judge? (I noticed in the course of our discussion we started to refer to our propensity to judge as “being judgey” which softened the sound of our sin—but it is none-the-less still sin.)
I shared my perspective and why it’s an area I am uncomfortable with. It was in sharing my back story with them that helped them understand the WHY.
WE ALL HAVE A BACK STORY.
Rather than despising or judging those with whom we disagree – we would all be better off if we sought to understand their back story. Ask questions, listen to their story – seek to understand. Welcome them (…for God has welcomed him[i]; welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you[ii])
May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God. Romans 15:5-7
[i] Romans 14:3
[ii] Romans 15:7
Written by Diane Hunt: Diane Hunt serves on the board of America’s Keswick and is the Executive Director & CEO of Changed Choices, a Christian non-profit in North Carolina. She is also a biblical counselor and women’s event speaker. For more information about having Diane speak at your next event please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: “Also there were many priests, because they were prevented by death from continuing. 24 But He, because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood. 25 Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.” Hebrews 7:23-25