It is easy to judge someone's spirituality from the outside--I know, 'cause I've done it. I did it a lot, especially when I was doing all the things "good Christians" are supposed to do.
Someone wouldn't be at church for a while, wouldn't come to an event, wouldn't volunteer for whatever--and I'd think, "hum, they must not be doing well." (I hate even writing that. But it's the truth.) I could even deceive myself into thinking that my only thoughts were of genuine concern--but really, it was a judgement--and I'd already decided--yes, they were not doing well or certainly they'd be "here" or "there" or signed up for something by now.
Now I am that person.
Don't misunderstand me. I am not saying "doing things" or being involved at church is bad. ( Judging those who are involved is just as bad as judging those who aren't!) I am just sharing something God showed me about myself.
It was not pretty. It did not feel good.
He showed me what was in my heart--the truth behind my thoughts. The truth behind my motives. It wasn't harsh. It was simply like I stepped in front of a large mirror and finally saw all that was there--not just a part. I remembered thoughts I'd had about certain people and conclusions I'd made--all on this scale of my works on one side and theirs on another--yuck!
I saw that all my life I'd been climbing this ladder--to obtain some position--whatever it was. To be liked, to feel good, to be important--the right crowd, the right boyfriend, the right sorority--and now here it was again--a different name but the same thing.
A question that has lingered in my head for five years now has been, "If no one were ever to see or recognize me for anything I ever did again--except God--would it be enough for me?" Just for Him and no one else. Led by His voice not by obligation or guilt. Led out of love for Him.
I am free in this place. Free to be myself--not who I think I should be. Free to respond from a true and honest place in my heart.
I don't ever want to go back. I have a healthy fear of ever falling back into that place again.
I know the truth about me. God has always known--and He still loves me--