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From Judgement to Compassion to Joy

Room for judgement in all our lives is plentiful. We judge ourselves relentlessly wondering if we have made the right choices, if we are doing well enough for ourselves and our family, if we are on the right path, are we good enough? Are we smart enough, handsome enough, successful enough? Are we worthy?

We judge each other in areas of clothing, type of car owned, music preference, schooling, body type, religious/spiritual tradition, political affiliation, social media postings, heritage, skin and hair color, food preferences, occupation, gender identity, wellness preferences, sexual orientation, and even which critter or furry companion one chooses as a pet. Is our neighbor worthy?

In Romans 14: 10-13 (NLT) Paul tackles this facet of human existence.

“So why do you condemn another believer? Why do you look down on another believer? Remember, we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. For the Scriptures say,

“‘As surely as I live,’ says the LORD,

‘every knee will bend to me,

and every tongue will declare allegiance to God’”

Yes, each of us will give a personal account to God. So let us stop condemning each other. Decide instead to live in such a way that you will not cause another believer to stumble and fall.”

Paul points to rising above differences. At this point in history Christians were arguing amongst themselves about the best way to be the best Christians. Paul reminds them that it is easy, concentrate on kindness, on compassion, on helping one another and leave the variances in what an individual prefers between them, their conscious, their soul and their connection to Divine.

I tell my children, almost on repeat, that it is their job to rise to the occasion of personal best as much as possible. This does not have to be someone else’s best or someone else’s perception of best. Their guidelines are to listen to their own connection, their intuition offered within the Grace of Spirit and to decide if their decision on what is best will hurt themselves or others physically, emotionally, or mentally ON PURPOSE.

The flip side of this is that we allow and respect others to do the same. We also respect when others find ways in which to improve the experience for us all, creating a space for more unity, more compassion, more listening, more equanimity.

“Yes, we give a personal account to Spirit.” We are the reflections of Spirit; we are the inspiration of God for each other on this planet. We give our personal accounts to each other, each day. We share this in conversations, in the way we treat each other, the way we create spaces that recognize ways in which we judge individually and as a society and work together to erase these judgements.

We are worthy, each of us. We are the expressions of the ‘I AM’ and as such have been gifted with a great opportunity to make choices to fully embody, reflect, share what it means to be such a reflection.

In Jeffrey Marsh’s book “How to be You” creating a JOY LIST is the suggested mode of recognizing all the ways in which our uniqueness, as well as brings joy. Your challenge is to try it for the next three weeks. Find all the ways in which Joy is showing itself to you in your life. I have placed a joy list on my refrigerator that anyone in the household may add to at any time. In this way we have several viewpoints on how we are living in a world full of joy and move as far away as possible from judgement.

Many Blessings, Rev. Jenn Shepherd

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