“You know who I can’t believe is popular?..”

As I sat down at a local coffee shop, this is the start of a conversation that greeted my ears from a few tables away.

It was a table of (what appeared to be) middle school girls. They sat there on their phones, scrolling through social media and pointing at one another’s screen as they whispered.

Questions started to form in my mind: “Was I ever this mean?” “Why would they say something like that?” “Do they bully that girl at school?”

Meanwhile, half an hour from now, I was headed to church to lead a group of middle school girls…“I wonder if any of them are headed to youth group after this?

No way! The young people there would never do that!

Lies. They would. And they do. I watch them do it.

And why? Because they are broken. They are not perfect. They hurt.

It does not make what they do right or okay. In fact, I still think it’s wrong and hurtful, and I have to believe they will grow from it. I pray every day that they do.

But if there is one thing I know, it’s that we are imperfect. I, Katrina, am so far from perfect it’s laughable that I would even consider judging those young women.

The book of Matthew brings us the verse: For with whatever judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with whatever measure you measure, it will be measured to you.

We often time judge others based off of subconscious insecurities within ourselves & characteristics we wish we did not embody.

The issue becomes, we never want to reflect on the why. The why is what really matters, because that will be the source of our growth.

Next time you are quick to judge somebody, condemn them, or put them down; dig into the why behind your hardened heart.

And here is the real challenge: Pray. Pray for the person you just put down, even if it was silently in your head. Pray for your own heart & mind to discover clarity over why you felt so pressed to respond critically.

I’ll do the same over here.

And just maybe we can soften the blow of this critical world.

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