Am I the Only One Who Feels Judged?

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After my third child was born I decided to start running to lose the last of the baby weight. You have to understand I was not an athlete as a kid. In fact I had never run a mile without walking. When we ran the mile in high school gym class, I finished dead last and the coach looked worried and concerned at my beet red face. So for me to pick up running was pretty extraordinary. I started slowly and worked up to three miles. I ran my first 5k race and was so proud of myself. Ultimately I ran several 5ks, several 10ks and some 5 mile races as well.

As I was lining up before a 5 mile race, I recognized a woman I knew. I hadn’t known she was a runner. We chatted for a few minutes. When I mentioned the speed at which I had been training (a slow pace), she said how great it was I had trained for the race. She hadn’t been training at all. So here she was, just showing up to run 5 miles. I on the other hand had taken months to train for this event.

This conversation completely deflated me. All the hard work, all the mini-goals I had set and reached, how pleased and proud of myself I had been, were all floating away in that early morning sky. Now, please know this woman had no idea. She had no intention of insulting me, or trying to impress me with her accomplishments. I was the one being judgmental. As she walked away, I was the one beating myself up, allowing discouragement to set in. I was the one who decided my accomplishments weren’t good enough. I was the one who called myself a failure.

The spacious place is a place of acceptance, not judgment. I think we’ve all felt judgment from others. It’s a common human experience. Some of us, though, also get judgment from ourselves, and that can be the harshest judgment of all.

From The Spacious Place, 2015

You have not handed me over to the enemy, but have set my feet in a spacious place.
— Psalm 31:8

Life in the spacious place is a concept that has helped me many times through the years evaluate my spiritual walk with God. If I am overwhelmed by judgment, or am full of judgment for others, my spiritual walk needs some adjustment. Life with God means understanding and feeling acceptance from him. If God accepts you, you can accept yourself.

Do you struggle more with judging others or with feeling judged from others?

I struggle with both if I am to be completely honest! I must constantly remind myself to focus on the person, the man or woman created in God’s image, who is loved by God. I have to take my focus off their behavior or choices. Maybe then I can start to see them a little bit more like God sees them.

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Kathy EricksonComment