We did not know that when we sat down at lunch, we were sitting next to misery. I listened in on the conversation and heard a list of criticisms in regards to the just attended church service. They brought up points of disagreements in theology and programs. The list was long and painful to hear. My first response was judgement and then conviction. How many times have I done the same thing? I am sure that is what every church staff person needs from their congregation. And so I repented. The look of misery that comes from judgement will not be forgotten.

I read something recently about judgement being a form of rejection of a person and a defense mechanism. Maybe it works to keep us safe and disengaged. I would take it a step further and say it reveals a brokenness in us. This family might have been hurt by the church at sometime. Maybe they have never felt accepted. I will be praying for them and maybe some of us too.

May the Holy Spirit convict us quick when we think or say miserable words of judgement. May we have eyes to see our own brokenness and ask the Lord to heal us. May we know deep down in our hearts that we are loved and accepted by Him. And when we need to speak up for truth, not judgement, may the Lord give us His words. I have a feeling they will sound a lot different.

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