This is a season of great trial, not going to lie.  And in this season every one has their opinion or judgment of me.  It’s been brutal.  I don’t even want to ask for prayer requests anymore as people don’t just pray, they jump in with, “Have you tried this?” and that question alone exhausts me.  Explaining yes, I have tried that, to multiple people.  Or “You have to do this!”  Really?  From a simple post or text or 2 lines, you have all the answers?

My heart has grown defensive and I feel anger starting to come in.  I hate to admit it but it’s true.

I was thinking the other night why I was feeling anger at humanity.  Then I went through a list of a good number of people in my life and realized that almost all of them had passed some form of judgment without knowing the full picture, or told me I “have” to do it this way, or make a false assumption about me without knowing or even asking about the story.

Sometimes the hardest thing is not just the situation, but those around the situation who think they know what’s really going on and have all the answers.

I have prayed and I have acted based on how I have felt God has led me.  Unfortunately we are living in a world where disposable humanity is the norm, and making the sacrifices of caring for someone should not cause us any difficulties, or we we should change the situation.  It’s why there’s so much abortion, divorce, nursing homes, single parents and more.

When a large number of people around you all try to tell you what to do, and they have no idea of the situation, it’s easy for the heart to drift towards anger.  Especially when your own personal life has so exhausted you that it’s difficult to think straight.  Anger is easy.

But what I realized today is that I still have some that taken the time to understand the situation.  And for those they are supportive and loving.  They are not offering judgment or easy fixes, but friendship.  I love them for that.  And while it’s easy for my mind to drift towards the majority who aren’t taking the time to understand, it’s better to purpose my mind to those who do.

This morning I was reading in John 5 Jesus’ critique of those who wouldn’t believe in him.  “How can you believe if you accept praise from one another, yet make no effort to obtain the praise that comes from the only God?” (Jn 5:44)

The truth is I’ve focused more on the criticisms and judgments and people who think they have all the answers more than I have focused on simply asking whether or not I’m pleasing God.  If I’m in God’s pleasure, then nothing else matters.  The opinions of others don’t even take second place, they take no place.

It’s time I stopped being angry.  To forgive.

Jesus himself responded by false accusations by asking the Father to forgive them, for they ‘knew now what they were doing.’

I must also turn my eyes to obtain the praise and direction of God, and not man.  Because anything else will steal my joy.