Judgmental Whispers Among the Prayers

 

 

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I read a post a couple days ago… and, while cloaked in faith and beauty, it left me feeling bitter.  I’m choosing not to link to it, not because I don’t want to drive any traffic there (though since the site was much larger than my own, that’s kind of moot), but because I don’t want to taint what was, for the most part, likely a lovely post for others who read it.  I also must point out that this was most certainly not the first time I’ve read something and been left with these uneasy feelings.

 

The post had to do with giving to those less fortunate than ourselves.  I loved that part of it.  I was so moved by the emotion coming through the author’s words as she spoke of reaching out, of rallying others, of helping another woman achieve a life-long dream that likely would have forever remained out of reach without such intervention.

 

Lovely.

 

But then…

 

The almost-requisite “…and we all prayed that she someday find her true Savior, Jesus Christ.”

 

The article went on, elaborating on that desire for awhile and, as I read it, the joy of it all dimmed for me.

 

You see, I DO believe, with all my heart, that Jesus is my Savior.  I don’t mind telling people that and it makes me happy to share the wonder of it all.

 

But, deep down, I have to wonder:

 

If we “pray for others to find Jesus” by insinuating they’re ignorant fools… are we really being good examples of what “finding Jesus” looks like?  If our religion makes us feel superior– no matter how we cloak it in pretty language– do we even GET it?

 

I don’t know… maybe it’s just me who doesn’t get it.  But I need to be honest and say that I don’t like it.  It doesn’t feel right to me.  It, quite frankly, doesn’t feel Christ-like to me.

 

The people who have influenced my faith the most are not the ones who desperately try to enlighten me (though there have been plenty of those)…

 

The ones who have made me grow closer to Jesus are the ones who have been examples of selfless, unconditional love– love with no agenda and no superiority complex.  They are broken, real, openly flawed people who are totally willing to meet me where I’m at.  People who will hold my hand and walk along on the journey without forever trying to yank me up to some other lofty plain upon which they reside.

 

I don’t know, what do you think?  Am I crazy?  Have you ever felt disappointed in the judgmental whispering that can be heard among the praying?

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11 comments to Judgmental Whispers Among the Prayers

  • Crazy???? Not a chance! In fact, I think, your realization about this, marks you as one of the most clearly sane people in the world! Keep at it!

  • Amber

    I appreciate what you wrote because I struggle with this so bad. I want to lead people to Jesus but I do not want to be in their face about it and make myself seem like I am right by my faith and they are wrong. A wise woman told me to let the Holy Spirit work in me and earn the right to tell people about Jesus by having those people ask me what has changed in me. Earn the right….I like that!
    And I understand what you are saying completely and thank you for the courage of printing it.

    • Oh, I LOVE the idea of being such a light that people SEEK to know what (Who) is behind it. I think “earn the right” is a fabulous and Christ-like way to look at it. Thank you for sharing.

  • I guess whenever the focus is off – focusing on me and how great I am for following Jesus rather than on how great HE is and how much I want to share HIM with others – then there’s a problem. Not sure if this is the strangeness that bothered you, but it would sure bother me. And it’s not about us making people follow Jesus, or even praying so hard that they are compelled to follow him. It’s about him drawing others to himself and us getting to maybe be a part of the process if we get out of the way and let him live in us. Those are my thoughts for what they’re worth. It’s good to be bothered sometimes, isn’t it? Get’s a person thinking about what is true/right and what’s not. Sometimes the line is hard to discern.

    • “It’s good to bothered sometimes, isn’t it?” Yes. Yes it is, Mandy. I’ve chewed on that for awhile and I agree with you. Even if it makes me feel all awkward, it’s helping me grow. Even if I come to the conclusion that I need to do something OTHER than what’s being lauded, well, I’ve learned something then. I appreciate the idea of embracing the bother as part of the journey.

  • Elizabeth

    I think about this idea a lot. Thanks for this post. I don’t have much to add…just thanks. :)

  • Oh Thank You! You really captured how I’ve always felt about the prayers and “sharing the good news” within the Christian church.

    While I too, believe and agree in Jesus, it is impossible for me to think that because I believe and agree I am better off than someone else who may not believe and agree.

    There is a lot of “We have to tell people and get them to believe” as if we are the only ones who know what is right and as you said the others are “ignorant fools.” And yet, we are supposed to love one another and treat each other as equals. How does one reconcile that belief (we know and they don’t so it is up to them to tell them they are wrong) with what Jesus taught?

    It has always bothered me and unfortunately, it seems to be prevalent no matter where you go.

    I am seeing more talk and discussion about it so I am hoping that though we don’t know the answers, we can be honest with each other about how and why we are doing our “sharing” and praying and continue on the path of love.

  • It seems a bit ridiculous that so many different groups are praying for the other groups to be saved. I vote for living well, caring for one another and following our different faiths with the understanding that there are more commonalities between the faiths than there are differences – so why bicker and righteously argue over which ones are more “right”.

    I saw this quote on somebody’s blog recently (sorry I can’t remember where!) and I really liked it because it caused me to do some good reflection on the relationship between religion, belief and spirituality.

    I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.
    Mohandas Gandhi

  • What has frustrated me the most are those who will try to preach people to Christ but ignore their pain and judge their current state. When I was teenager just finding a relationship with Christ, I was told I lacked understanding. Nearly twenty years later I was called ‘out of order’ and disobedient. But if we aren’t living a life of love and compassion that would draw someone to Jesus anyway how do expect that standing on a corner or praying down about them will garner any results? Instead of being Christ-like we more resemble the pharisee in the temple who felt higher than the ‘poor lowly’ tax collector

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