I find that women, in particular, are phenomenal judges. We scrutinize each other (especially other women) without even realizing it's happening, an innate quality. In reading The True Measure of a Woman, the author asks her audience to make a list of people to release from judgment. It shamed me as I wrote my list to know that I was wrongfully analyzing these people, despite God's Word commanding me not to judge. I do not know each person's story. I do not know each person's heart. And even if I did, I'm still called to take the plank out my own eye first.
This week, God took the opportunity to teach me this lesson the hard way after Adeline's 18 month check-up appointment. After seeing the doctor, we walked to the vaccine clinic where we waited next to another mom and her child. The mother was busy on her phone for quite some time while her baby sat alone in his stroller. I found myself judging her for not interacting with her son. (Seeing parents ignore a child to spend time on the phone is a major pet peeve of mine.) Moments later, we got to talking and she apologized for being on her phone, explaining that her husband was boarding a plane for Korea, where he will be stationed for the next year...without his family. Military wife to military wife, I was mortified for assuming she'd rather dillydally on her phone than talk to her son, when in reality, she was saying goodbye to her husband and assuming sole responsibility of her family. Note to self: you never know someone's situation, so reserve your opinions. Got it, God!
Instead of worrying about how to fix someone else's life, I must focus on my own. What do I need to work on in order to better myself in the name of Christ? Let me tell you, I have PLENTY of areas of improvement that require my attention before I spend energy judging others. So, here's to a May filled with releasing others from my analysis and assumptions and praying for God to reveal my "planks."
I'm Ashley Ashcraft,
a military wife and
stay-at-home mama, earnestly seeking the Christ-like life. I invite you to walk alongside me in my quest to raise our children and join the antics of our unpredictable military lifestyle. I pray your heart feels rejuvenated and inspired each time you visit OFH!