America’s Pastime

“What’s America’s pastime?”

 You might be tempted to answer “Baseball.” I’m going to go out on a limb here and say “judgment.”

Every morning, I grab some coffee and the newspaper. Let the games begin.

I read about judicial trials, Good Samaritans and sports figures behaving badly. And I develop an opinion about all of it.

Opinions are fine, we all have reactions and ideas about the world. The trouble comes when I decide a person’s character based on the single event I see.

Now that’s a problem.

Do you know how to pick a good pineapple? I don’t. I love to eat them, but how to figure out which one is good or bad? It’s a mystery to me. I look carefully over the crackly, spiny skin. But I’ll never know for sure what’s going on inside. Is it ripe? Good to eat?

Snap Decisions

It’s the same process with forming an opinion about someone. At first meeting, I don’t have any idea what that person is like. But, just like the pineapple, I might be tempted to look at the outside and make a judgment.

I’m sure that many people have made assumptions about me. All based on my ‘outside;’ my face, my clothes; that’s about it. I’m sure that anyone looking at my jeans and tee shirt couldn’t begin to guess my personality or spirit. Yet, it happens all the time.

Not taking the time to listen and understand, I might be dismissed. Or I might dismiss you.

Case in Point

I am very reliable behind the wheel. I don’t excessively speed, I don’t drink and drive and I know where I am going.

But if I am out of town, or out of state, getting around can be a challenge. Sometimes I am reduced to fumbling my way over to the correct lane position, or slowing down to exit on that ramp I ALMOST MISSED! Phew!

If you were driving in the car behind me, what would you be thinking? (Can you say it out loud?)

Plenty of people on that road would love to tell me what kind of person I am. Spacey, distracted, dangerous.  But that’s not me.

I have been robbed of my rich identity by one event in my day.

Love in Action

Judgment creates strain. It breaks people apart. The wedges that result cause fractures in the Body of Christ. We were designed to be a seamless garment, and should be intertwined together. We were made to support each other in the Lord.

The remedy? I need to slow down and think about the judgments I make. My goal is to be Christ to each person I meet.

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.     Ephesians 4:29

Wouldn’t it be great if America’s pastime was ‘Love of Neighbor’?

That would be creating heaven on earth. And isn’t that what the Lord calls each of us  to do?

 

Linking today with: Essential Fridays Link-Up and Friday Five

 

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77 thoughts on “America’s Pastime

  1. What a wonderful post yet again Ceil. Thank you for teaching us how the most innocent of pre-conceived impression of others can be so wrong.

    So many things to comment on here:

    Once in a supermarket picking pineapples I jokingly put one to my ear first before placing it in my shopping trolley. Another customer asked me what I was doing. I explained that ripe pineapples make a sweet humming noise just like music. I walked away saying no more. Minutes later I noticed other customers putting pineapples to their ear!

    As for driving … when I drive slowly, especially on the motorways, other cars overtake me and usually the drivers put their hand out of the window raising one finger signifying I am one ace of a driver.

    I agree with you about our personal prejudices when we make snap judgements of others. Here’s a story that happened to me: http://timeforreflections.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/i-am-prejudiced.html

    As for loving our neighbours. I find this difficult when my neighbour insists on parking his car opposite my drive way blocking me in time and again!

    God bless you.

    • Hi Victor! Um…you might want to look and see which finger they are using. If it’s the thumb, it’s all good!

      I’ll avoid trying to listen to the pineapples. A commenter on my Facebook page told me how to pick a good one, so I’m all set there.

      I’m coming on over to see what you think about the subject of judgement.
      Thanks for your visit!
      Ceil

  2. Dear Ceil
    I’m up late as I cannot sleep and then I thought I would check on some blogs and saw this post.
    It is truly inspiring, thank you and now I shall try and sleep.

    (Life has been a challenge lately and I would like so much if you could keep me in your prayers. )

    Margie

    • Hi Margie! Oh my gosh, I’m so happy to hear from you! I’ve been by your blog many times and have not seen a new post. I wondered how you were doing? I am so sorry about the challenges in your life right now.

      Please know that you are in my prayers. I hope you had a good sleep last night. Let me know how you are doing, ok?
      Blessings and prayers,
      Ceil

      • Thanks so much, Ceil.
        I did a post yesterday and have a photo of my angel granddaughter Rose on it, I wrote a poem to her.
        Rose is my inspiration and I so need to get well so I can continue to take care of her.
        She is my love.

        God bless you.

  3. Your post is brimming with truth, Ceil. And I have been both the judge and the judged. I love the verse you chose. It pricked my heart to think again before I judge on first sight.

    • Hi Pam! I have been on both sides too, and you would think that would slow me down a little bit. I think I am a slave to my humanness sometimes, and I have to remember the divine in me is stronger if I let it.

      I hope you have a great weekend!
      Ceil

  4. Ceil, you have said it perfectly! Between Facebook, news stories, opinion pieces, and routine talk at work or with friends, it seems recently that “judging conversation” has taken the place of other more thoughtful topics. How much easier to judge others than to love on others, contemplate how we each need to change, or how we can share the love of Christ! I crave the company of people who don’t have judging tendencies!

    • Hi Diana! How nice to see you!

      It’s a great thing to ‘crave’ the companionship of joyful, accepting people. I think we really all do, even if we don’t recognize it. It’s so hard to be around negative attitudes, and judgment. After all, if someone is offering me an opinion about someone else, chances are, when I walk away…I’m next in line!

      Thank you for your visit today 🙂
      Ceil

  5. Ceil … God has gifted you with an incredible ability to write these ‘devotional’ pieces, for lack of a better word on this fuzzy Friday morning. Each and every time your insights hit home, go deep, ring a bell, prompt something that’s good and lovely. There’s no doubt that He’s going to continue to use your work, His work, in the lives of women.

    I’m so blessed to gather here with you and yours …

    • Hi Linda! What lovely comment to greet me today. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I really hope that I can be used to motivate women, and to share my stories in person. Who knows what God has in mind?

      I am so grateful for your support and encouragement. I treasure our blog-friendship!
      Have a wonderful day my friend,
      Ceil

  6. Good Morning Ceil, I just heard a message titled a seamless generation; So that quote caught my eye. My sweet Hubby and I have a quote that goes like this….
    Give them some grace they may just be having a tough day! This has helped us from quickly jumping into the judgement train, which can easily run away!
    Happy Valentines Day! Your A Dear Friend XO Roxy

    • Hi Roxy! What a great idea. And that your husband joins you in this prayer is so special. What a gift you are to each other!

      Have a wonderful Tea Party today with Amy 🙂
      You are such a loving mother-in-law. Amy is truly blessed.
      Ceil

  7. My sweet hubby and I are on opposite ends of the spectrum on this issue. I tend to put a positive spin on the things that people say and do because I want them to put a positive spin on the things that I say and do. My dear husband, however, says that his spiritual gift is judging. 🙂

    • Hi Linda! That is so funny! Your husband sounds like a really entertaining guy 🙂

      The spiritual gift of being positive is such a needed one. I thank God for you! We need people who encourage and build up. No wonder I enjoy your blog so much. Your attitude shows in what you do.

      Have a wonderful day my friend,
      Ceil

  8. It’s certainly too easy to make a quick judgement…either good or bad. We do need to spend time getting to know what makes people who they are, before we have any idea of their true personality.

    • Hi Elizabeth! I really agree with you. Delaying judgment, and just getting down to the business of loving and listening takes a lot of grace. But what rewards!

      I know that there are so many wonderful people in the world. How many do I block from my life for absolutely no reason??

      Thank you for your visit, it’s so nice to see you today!
      Ceil

    • Hi Deb! I’m so glad you liked the post today. Thank you for being such a faithful blog-friend. I really appreciate your visits and comments.

      You have a great weekend too 🙂
      Ceil

  9. Yes! Ceil…
    Perfect example with the pineapple, my friend…
    This I have found something I am better at as I get older.
    When I was younger…I was quick to judge. A lot. : )
    Have a blessed weekend, my friend.

    • Hi Billie Jo! What good news that you have seen progress in your life in judgment, and what a great model you are for me.

      I think I am getting better too, but have a long way to go. Sometimes my mouth goes faster than my brain…never a good idea. I want to be more like Christ. A great lover of all his people.

      Blessings on you and the family on this football-less weekend 🙁
      Ceil

    • Hi Natalie! Thank you for your kind words. I join you in your wonderful prayer for graciousness.

      What a great word, and a great spiritual gift too 🙂
      Blessings!
      Ceil

    • Hi Dee! It sure is a constant battle, I agree. What is an opinion, I can change into judgement if I let it define someone else. Yuck.

      So good to see you again Dee. And thank you for reading two posts, and commenting on them too!
      You and your Frank are in my prayers.
      Have a peaceful afternoon my friend,
      Ceil

    • Hi Lauren! I wish I could too! The reason I can write about it is because I live it.

      I’m glad you see this as encouragement. We can all benefit from being lifted up and reminded at the same time. We can be better!

      Have a peaceful evening 🙂
      Ceil

  10. Good one! You’re right, I didn’t even consider it. Lord help me, I’m a person that has been judged and try to treat others without that, but fail too often. “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” Our Master summed it up quite nicely. Thanks, Ceil

    • Hi Floyd! You make a good point…we’ve all been on the receiving end of judgement and it never feels good. That should be my cue to cut it out!! This human thing is a difficult road.

      I am so glad that I have a Savior who will pour down that grace. I need it.

      Great Scripture Floyd. Just perfect for this post. Thank you!
      Ceil

  11. Oh Ceil, I was ready to name a sport for sure but you have indeed given me much food for thought. Such a great post about how we quickly make judgments that are often wrong.

    • Hi Wanda! Oh boy, it was not my intention to mislead too much. I just thought it made a good title!

      Thank you for your kind words. And for your blog hop today too.
      I know I can get better at judgement, because the Lord is interested in that for me too.

      Have a good evening!
      Ceil

  12. I’m finding that I am more compassionate the older I get. Maybe it is because I want people to be more compassionate toward me? 🙂 Our priest gave us a homily on a topic somewhat like this. Very good post 🙂

    • Hi Patty! That is a wonderful thing to hear, and I know it must be a wonderful thing to experience. True growth in the Lord. You are a great witness to grace and desire.

      I’m glad you liked the post. I think judgement is a universal issue, don’t you? I’m not surprised your priest would talk about it. I hope to improve in my own struggles, which is the desire part. God will provide the grace…so I should be able to overcome! I hope so anyway.

      Are you watching the Opening Ceremonies? I am dodging in and out. It’s fun though 🙂

      Have a fun weekend!
      Ceil

  13. Judge not, lest you be judged! We are all guilty as charged when it comes to judging. I find myself doing it involuntarily constantly. May the mind of Christ be in me…and help me to love my neighbor as myself…and stop the judging. Thank you for this lovely reminder today. You are an inspiration to me! Blessings, dear friend.

    • Hi Pam! How nice to see you again 🙂

      That’s a good way to say it, “involuntary”. Most of us don’t want to make snap judgements, but that voice just seems to pop up. Erg.

      I am so happy that you were inspired by the post today. How lovely of you to tell me that!
      Blessings right back to you! Have a restful night and a great weekend too.
      Ceil

  14. OUCH! I did think baseball and winced when I read judgment. I gave up being critical one Lent. very very difficult and made me realize how much judgment, sarcasm and criticalness I have. One of my favorite authors, Catherine Marshall wrote about fasting from criticalness. Our whole society is that way right now too making it even more difficult to manage. You are right – slow down and think first. pray first, then let things go. good thoughts!!

    • Hi Jean! Wow! You gave up judgement?? What a fabulous goal.

      I’ll have to take a look for that book you mentioned. That would be great. I agree that all of us could use an inservice on cutting our judgement…you could lead us!

      Thank you for your kind comments too Jean. I really do appreciate them. And I appreciate you too 🙂
      Have a peaceful night,
      Ceil

    • Hi Mindy (the swimmer)! Not a baseball lover, huh? Well, it is a little boring, I’ll give you that.

      But wouldn’t it be wonderful if we all just loved each other, and listened more?

      You have a great weekend too! I am hoping mine includes some Olympic watching 🙂
      Blessings to you my friend,
      Ceil

  15. Hello my precious Ceil! This is another favorite post from you! Although I was just telling my son the other day that to have a favorite it to like one thing more than another and in this case I can’t actually say just one of your posts is my favorite because just about everyone I read is my favorite! Does that even make sense?! haha 🙂

    Thank you these words to think upon – words of wisdom, my friend. It’s so good to stop by and say “Hi!” I hope you’re doing well and may you have a lovely weekend! Love and hugs to you!

    • Hi Stephanie! Thank you for your kind words once again. You are one of my cheerleaders, and I am so thankful.

      I hope all is well with you and your family. We have been watching the Opening Ceremonies tonight for the Olympics. Always fun!

      So glad you stopped by tonight my friend! Have a restful night 🙂
      Ceil

  16. It’s such a shame that when people make a single mistake that their whole characters can be called into question. We often don’t think they were having a bad day, or the person is under pressure from home or work. We just label, destroy and move on. But when the boot is on the other foot, we want everyone to know how good we are etc etc. Very thought provoking post.

    I hope to be much more careful in the judgements I make and to give others more of a chance. I don’t have a problem forgiving but I do find it hard to have that person in my circle again. Great post Ceil.

    • Hi RPD! Your image of the “label, destroy and move on” is a very strong one. It sounds like an iron tank rolling into someone’s life.

      But that’s what it’s like when I let one episode define a life. I just didn’t think of it in those terms. Very clarifying. You have given me something to think about here. Thank you!

      We’ll both work on being more careful with attitudes and judgements. I think I’ll be doing it my whole life.
      Thank you for your kind words, and you visit today. It’s always a pleasure to see you,
      Ceil

  17. Oh how true Ceil! How judgmental we can be at times, but our appearance or “stuff” in life doesn’t reveal what we are really like inside, or what our true value is. God never asks us to compare ourselves to others; He desires us to place our uniqueness and integrity entirely in Him. He doesn’t judge by appearances or riches, and neither should we! I believe it’s about our faith and character….and love. 🙂

    Blessings sister; have a joyful weekend!
    Denise

    • Hi Denise! I love what you said about not comparing because God never asked us to do that. I never of thought of that! Yes, we should place ourselves in him, and not worry about others. Thank you for that idea, I really like it.

      Blessings to you too! We are celebrating the Baptism of my granddaughter, so it is a fun weekend. Hope yours is peaceful 🙂
      Go USA!
      Ceil

  18. That is right Ceil,
    we can not go by what we see or hear, for that is just one part of the picture. I learned a real lesson in that area when being a prison visitor.

    • Hi Brenda! Again you surprise me with your life experiences!
      You did prison ministry? My brother does that now once or twice a month he heads a bible study in one of his local prisons.

      I can imagine that you learned all kinds of life lessons. You never cease to amaze me my friend. What wonderful work you do in your life.

      Blessings to you. What an inspiration you are!
      Ceil

  19. I’m in agreement with you on this one. After all, my one word for 2014 is LOVE! The other day I was driving to work and was in the left turn lane with my blinker on. Once the coast was clear, I turned. But the car behind me was honking and yelling and I had no idea why. I didn’t cut her off. I didn’t take excessive time to turn. More and more people get frustrated while driving and take it out on others. As far as the body of Christ, the Bible says we are to privately speak in love with another who may be doing something that is not according to the Bible. Too often I see public criticisms of others in ministry for all the world of unbelievers to see. I’ve heard the comment that the Christians can’t even get along. Shame on us!

    Blessings and love,
    Debbie

    • Hi Debbie! It is sad to see so much anger in the world. We were made to be sisters and brothers!

      What a good point about the unintended result of behaving badly. Everyone sees that we call ourselves followers of Christ, and then go out and act very un-Christlike. We should be making every effort to be a light in the dark.

      Great comment Debbie. Very thought provoking for me.
      Have a peaceful night!
      Ceil

  20. Ceil this is a wonderful reminder because WE ALL DO IT! It’s especially easy to judge in moments like you share. We seem to have this desire to feel better about ourselves by judging others. It is a dangerous, slippery slope.

    Love thy neighbour. Last night I was impressed in prayer that this is what I need to communicate and teach to my children. Your posting is a spiritual echo that I am so very thankful for.

    Wishing you a blessed weekend.
    xoxo

    • Hi Jennifer! It is a slippery slope! And you are so right about the fact that we all do it. That’s how I can write about it…I know it so well.

      How beautiful your message in prayer is. And what a great lesson you are teaching your children! Love thy neighbor…alot of wisdom in those three words.

      Thank you for your visit my friend. And for reading two posts, and commenting on both of them. I cherish your support.

      Happy Weekend and Go USA!
      Ceil

  21. Ouch! I’m guilty of judging and I can be pretty harsh, too. But I also am learning that people are complicated. Who knows what’s been happening in their lives that would make them act or react in a certain way.
    It often seems that we are more apt to judge people when we are stressed or in a hurry ourselves. That’s why I’ve decided to drive in the slow lane and let the ‘stressed’ people pass me. 🙂

    • Hi Aneta! What wonderful wisdom here. I do think I judge more when I am stressed. Great point. Avoiding the stress that can make me cranky is a good strategy.

      I try to think about the things that might be happening in someone’s life too. You just never know…it’s that stress again.

      Thank you for reading two posts today and commenting too. I really appreciate your support. Thank you for being such a great blog-friend!
      Ceil

    • Hi Debby! Oh, you can join the club. We are all saying that over here!

      None of us can claim perfection. We’ll just keep plugging away, getting better in God’s grace.

      Have a great weekend, and Go USA!
      Ceil

  22. It certainly is a worldwide pastime, Ceil. I loved this statement: “Judgment creates strain. It breaks people apart. The wedges that result cause fractures in the Body of Christ.” I’ve been mulling writing a post about judgment, along the lines you shared here. It’s an epidemic! The enemy has a ball with us when we give in to it, and often, the destruction caused cannot be reversed. What a pain!

    • Hi Ali! I do think that judgment is an epidemic. It’s so close to opinion isn’t it? So I think it’s ok because it’s my take on a situation. It’s a slippery slope.

      I’d be interested to read your take on it. We need to fight this epidemic!
      Have a restful night,
      Ceil

  23. oh how I love your whispered words of wisdom…..yes.
    Yes, the harsh sting of legalism is thick like poisonous weeds
    in our society and I’m all the more grateful for the piercing truth
    of the Love of God that slices through the muck and brings life
    and peace and healing. Thank you for the beauty of the living words
    you share,
    Jennifer

    • Hi Jennifer! So nice to see you here! I really liked your post. It’s great to be a part of blog hops…you get to meet such lovely writers.

      Thank you for your kind words today. I hope we’ll get to know each other better 🙂
      Ceil

  24. Hi Ceil,

    This post is right on target. Releasing judgement is something that I am struggling with in a big way these days. I am constantly having something that upsets me very much shoved down my throat, so to speak, and it makes me angry. I find it hard not to judge the shovers harshly. I know that what they are doing is wrong, but also that my judging them is wrong, too. I just don’t know how not to when I get no relief from the situation that causes me to judge.

    Thank you for your post. I will continue to pray for Heavenly Father to help me not to judge these people. I hope that you have a great week!

    • Hi Suzanne! How nice to see you here in my new blog home. Thank you for your visit!

      You describe a very challenging situation. Constantly being faced with unfair attitudes is so tiring. I think you are right, prayer is needed, for you and for them.

      Sometimes I try to feel sorry for my attackers. It takes the focus off what they say, and helps me to defuse my feelings. I don’t know if that would help you?

      I will join you in your powerful prayer, and hope you have a peaceful Monday.
      Blessings to you,
      Ceil

  25. We are in a tough world, Ms Ceil. My consolation though is my exposure to His word which enables me to stand firm on what is right and to do what is necessary though difficult at times. Have a blessed week! 🙂

    • Hi Farida! You have such a strong faith. Your reliance on God’s word is really an inspiration.

      I hope to have a faith like that. I’ll need the Lord’s grace, but I believe he wants to give it. And to anyone who desires it. Good news!

      Thank you for your powerful witness Farida. I always love hearing from you. Pray for me!
      Ceil

  26. Great post. God has been working on me in this area of being judgmental. I am thankful for when He nudges me and reminds me to think nice things about others instead of jumping to conclusions.
    Lisa :O)

    • Hi Lisa! God has been working on me too. It seems like the negative stuff comes bubbling up first. I have to work on switching it for good.

      I’m glad you could relate!
      Hope you are doing well. I’ll be over to visit this week!
      Ceil

  27. I am getting all caught up on your blog and I have to say that I absolutely adore this post! I see judgment cause so many problems, especially among moms. Oh, you had a natural birth and I didn’t? You must be _____ and I should enlighten you. You use disposable diapers and I use cloth. Don’t you know_______? What, you let your baby cry it out? Oh no, your baby is the center of your family? You wear your baby ALL day? What do you mean you never hold your baby longer than “necessary”? And this goes on and on and on. Yet, none of these things matter one bit. What matters is that we all love our children and are trying to parent them to the best of our ability and honor God in the process. So yes, I’m right there with you wishing that the favorite sport in America was love!! 😀

    • Hi Anne! Boy, you have spoken some truth here. I remember the pressure when I was a young Mom too. So much comparing, and most of it just so someone else could feel superior. What a bunch of insecure mamas!

      You have it perfectly, I think. It’s all about love, and doing the best job we know how to do. If God is in the mix, then we will be ok. Thank you for this comment Anne. I forgot about this very concrete example of judgement.
      Blessings 🙂
      Ceil

  28. Ceil, on Valentine’s Day, a very dear and faithful servant of God (Bob Jones) passed away that I had the pleasure of meeting and sitting under his ministry. Everyone who came in contact with him knew he was full of love for God’s people. Reading your post reminded me of him and how he was known for not judging people harshly, but simply loving them. I want the Father to reduce me to love, like His faithful servant. When I pass on to glory, I want people to know me for loving people, just like Bob. I, like so many others, don’t believe that his passing on Valentine’s Day was no coincidence. It is a day that is known for love, just like him. Thanks for sharing Ceil.
    Many blessings to you my dear friend.

    • Hi Marilyn! I’m so sorry for your loss Marilyn. Bob sounds like such a wonderful person. What a light to all he must have been.

      I’d like to be known for love too my friend. It all comes down to that, doesn’t it. Love God, love his people. And wow, to die on Valentines Day too. You’ll never forget him, or that I’m sure.

      I really enjoy reading your posts Marilyn. I always learn something new, or get a fresh perspective. God is good! He brought us together.

      Have a good night,
      Ceil

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