Thursday, March 10, 2011

Thursday Thought

Christian women can be some of the meanest people in the world.

I thought a lot about that the other weekend as I spoke at a women's retreat and heard several stories from women about how they were hurt by "helpful" remarks from other Christians.

And it made me sad.

I think it's easy to get caught up in thinking that we know certain things about certain people-- rushing to judgment, thinking our way is the right way, assuming we know the full story. I know I've done it myself. I am not proud of it, but I have.

And all the while there is a line from an old hymn ringing in my ears: "They will know we are Christians by our love."

The next time I am tempted to judge or comment or gossip about another woman, I want to think instead of how I can love her. I think that, over time and with practice, God's love will replace my Pharisee ways. At least I hope so. I want to be known by the love I show, the grace I reflect. I don't want to be one of the meanest people in the world.
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Anonymous said...

Just what I need to hear this morning!! Thanks for the words of truth and encouragement.

Alycia Morales said...

The thing that's even sadder about this is that pastor's wives tend to be the ladies who deal with this the most...we need to honor and respect them, not criticize everything they do or the advice they give or the way they speak.

I pray I'm never one of those mean Christian women, and anytime I give counsel, I make certain it's biblical at its foundation. And I don't twist the Word of God to make it fit my spitefulness...

Just thinkin'...
~ Alycia

Anonymous said...

Wow! This is a subject that needs to be addressed more often. I am in Women's Ministry and just enjoy the time that I spend gathering with other Women to pray for one another and it's also a time to support and encourage each other. I realize with myself there are times when I rather not share a personal prayer request in fear that I might be judged on that very thing or someone might take what I have shared to share with someone else and it turns into a gossip session. Thank you for your candor and sharing your thoughts for the day.

Zibilee said...

Oh Marybeth, you are so right. Some of the most nasty people, who have hurt me the most, have been Christian women. I have been in the position to be that nasty person myself, and I regret it everyday of my life, and pray that I never let it happen again. We heard last night at out Ash Wednesday service that God does not want us to judge, and those that do, will be judged harshly by him. I know I can make that a point to remember in my life, but it's hard to realize and accept that others are still going to be mean at times.

Julie Coleman said...

I'm reading an excellent book on the subject right now: Leading Women Who Wound. It gives so much excellent information as to why people are this way as well as strategies in handling the times you fall victim to the "mean girls."

I think women (myself included, unfortunately) tend toward this because we see things through emotional eyes. It's too easy to take things personally-- assuming a person's actions are an attack on you.

Thanks for that good reminder.

Teresa Carns said...

Thank you for posting this.
We had a pastor's wife who wasn't so nice. And when my husband relized his own calling, I had to make a decision about the woman I am becoming in Christ.

This is an important issue. Becoming humble and kind is essential.


Anonymous said...

I have been on the receiving end of many people talking behind my back and gossiping about me. It has been a hurtful journey! The other day I was talking with a friend and she began talking about a horrific event that happened in our community and told about a comment a mother had made to her and another woman who were talking in a store about the event. She was upset because she felt if the lady who confronted her did not want to hear what they had to say then she could have moved to another spot. Because I have been there, done that, I felt God giving me strength to speak up. I told my friend that I was uncomfortable talking about this family incident that happened in our community; that it was gossip. She replied that because it was factual stuff she was sharing that it wasn't gossip. I disagreed. I told her that, no, I felt that whether true or not, talking for the sake of talking was gossip. It wasn't helpful to the family. She respected my place and I hope she will think before speaking the next time. I guess the place I am at is that when I have that strong desire to talk to someone about someone it needs to be to my Heavenly Father in prayer.

HD said...

After reading your devotional from Proverbs 31 this morning and then your Thursday thought, you've given me a lot to think about on this Friday. And its in a good way - thanks for bringing some much needed peace in my life by helping me refocus on God.

MommaofJAALemon said...

And Let the Chruch Say Amen

Michelle Sarabia said...

Sometimes we have to do what our mothers use to say, "I'm gonna wash your mouth out with soap!"

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this past Thursday's thought. I too have been hurt by christian women and I need to remain attentive of how I speak with other women. I have a daughter that rejected Jesus 4 years ago when she was 16. Thankfully, she came back to church two weeks ago. Two women began to talk about how she looked and my daughter heard them. Please pray she will return to Jesus.