What I would like to blather on about at this moment is judging, and how we need to SLOW DOWN.
Multiple things going on today are on my mind, but I'll just talk about one:
So, lots of judging on this dress from folks. Is it "immodest"...nope. Would I wear it? No, but certainly not for modesty reasons. I like stuff that covers my arms to the elbows (again, not for modesty but for pride).
More importantly, when we judge, and put it out there publicly, we commit sins worse than the perceived immodesty, or "leading our girls astray" or whatever you want to label it (and people have... and much worse). First, a very sweet and talented young lady, who is genuinely doing her best to be a good example of Christ's church for the world, has been bombarded with a mountain of judgy-judginess. She expressed a little of her sadness in an Instagram post. As I read it, I feel sad that she was attacked by people who rabidly adored her until one nanosecond after they saw that picture:
I've received a lot of hate over the last 2 days and I'm sorry for anyone that I've disappointed. The dress I wore to the awards was fully lined with tan fabric. But after looking at the pictures, I see that you actually can't tell that it's lined. In hind sight it wasn't the best choice because modesty is important to me.I worry that having so much vitriol thrown at her may harm young Lindsey's testimony--or at least her desire to want to be around Mormons. Judging each other is something we are REALLY, REALLY good at in the Church. SO, I say, SLOW DOWN.
However, more importantly it makes me so sad that people are so quick to judge. Especially all the "Christians". I make mistakes, and I am definitely not perfect, but I really am trying my best. I tried on racks of dresses before I found one that actually covered me and I want to thank the designer and my stylist for making a dress that could make me feel beautiful and still keep me completely covered from head to toe.
For those who say I've changed, I still believe in Christ and although I'm not perfect, I strive to share his love and positivity with those I meet.
What do we do when we come across:
- That sister that smells like cigarette smoke
- The woman who comes to church in pants
- The man (or woman) covered in tattoos
- The couple getting a divorce
- The man with the ankle electronic monitoring device
- The teen girl who wears shorter skirts
- The teen boy with hair pulled in a ponytail
- Or wearing a t-shirt and jeans to church
- Insert your own here....
Are any of these people less deserving of our love and support? Do we think that a single one of them is not painfully aware of their "flaws," or that we are doing anything but hurting them if we point them out, discuss them, and try to "help" them overcome them?
SLOW DOWN. We really need to look past the "thing" and to the person underneath. There's not a single thing we need to be concerned about, according to our Savior, then loving them. If "Love your neighbor as yourself" is second on the list of commandments, then "Make others conform to your idea of what a good Mormon should look, sound, smell, and act like" is not third, or fifth, or 690 hundred millionth (that number is courtesy of my son Simon. It's his favorite number). It's actually sort of on the list of "thou shalt nots." On my mission people would say, "No seas Fariseo" --don't be a Pharisee. There's an article in LDS Living that addresses this: http://www.ldsliving.com/story/78706-4-signs-youre-acting-like-a-pharisee-how-to-stop-now
It says it better than I can.
Secondly, do we realize how we might be harming the missionary effort by being so openly, publicly judgemental? Aside from people who might assume (sometimes rightly so) that they would not be welcome in our congregations because they don't fit the Mormon Mold, we also are being decidedly, blatantly, UN-Christian when we sit and point fingers and discuss the faults and mistakes of others. We can't profess to follow Christ and model the behavior of his enemies.
If we SLOW DOWN, we can look past the outward and into the soul and heart, the inward vessel, of the people we may be prone to judge. We can listen to them, understand their intentions, their thoughts, their trials, and THEN we can get a glimpse of them as the Savior would see them. That is what we are charged to do.
If we love them as the Savior would, lift them, strengthen them, then THEY will change what needs changing. That part is not our job.
Our job, our ONLY job, is to LOVE THEM ALL.