In what turned out to be a massive misunderstanding, I have learned that despite all the best technology and available resources out there, the best means of communication is just talking to one another. The misunderstanding began with, what I hope was, good intentions, but because it was done in secret and without preface, it was taken as judgmental attempt at advice.
The lack of verbal communication between the two people quickly became a wedge between the two. There will always be times when something we do or say will be misinterpreted, but as adults we should really try to see the good in it, and if we can’t find the good then we need to have enough respect for one other to go to our brother or sister and clarify the situation (and sometimes just let it go).
I’m not sure why it took me (Jennifer) 40 years to figure this out, because I grew up in a home where the Bible was our guidebook. I knew “judge not, lest you be judged”. It could be that I’m finally understanding the inner meaning behind those words. It isn’t just the outward judging, I’m better than this person because they do that and that is a sin. It’s also about thoughts and intentions.
For example, there is this couple at my church that are late every week. They stand too long in the foyer talking and come in trying to find a seat 10 minutes into worship. It is totally distracting to us “good Christians” who were on time and trying to worship. Whoa….reality check, God isn’t judging the couple who stood in the lobby building relationships and community, he’s judging me for my internal and negative judgment on these people. Yikes. All I saw in my situation at the church was how it was affecting (distracting) me, and so I judged this couple negatively, but really they could have been out there counseling a homeless man, a single mom, or couple struggling with their marriage.
Like in the misunderstanding that I opened with, in my short-sightedness and eagerness to judge, I created my own wedge. I guess the moral of the stories is judge not, communicate more.