So right now, I am in the midst of 2 really, really good Bible studies. I don't typically do 2 at a time, as I find I need to process things over and over to get a good grasp on whatever God is trying to teach me (I'm kind of stubborn like that--God teaches me the same things over and over and over again!). I'm in the middle of a Beth Moore study with like 200 other women at a large church near our home, and then our couples small group is doing a study called "Emotionally Healthy Spirituality". Both awesome in their own ways. I know God is using these studies to force me to dig in to the Word, learn more about the character of God, and finally to learn more about myself. This is a perfect "life season" for me to be doing these things! So in the coming months, you may find me going on and on about one or both of these studies. Just forewarning you!
One thing that "Emotionally Healthy Spirituality" talks about are the problems and symptoms related to emotionally unhealthy sprirituality and one of the symptoms listed was "judging the spiritual journey of another." Oh, my did this hit me hard! While I pride myself on being opinionated, it definitely gets me into trouble as well. My opinions come off as judgment--and a lot of times that's exactly what it is. Me judging the spiritual journey of someone else. One way to counter-act that judgment that always pops into my mind and my heart came from the workbook from this study. Instead of judgment, turn to "wonder." (And I'm talking to myself here): Ask yourself, "I wonder what happened in their life to bring them to this place" and "I wonder how they are feeling right now." Kind of a "put yourself in their shoes" attitude. Which may sound trite, but I fail to do this so many times. I don't know where people are coming from and what life experiences have brought them to the place they are now. And while I hope and pray that people can approach me and my life circumstances from that attitude, I certainly don't offer that to others as much as I should.
Which led me to think about a great conversation I had with an old friend (old in that I've had this friend for a long time!). I was talking about a person that I had a hard time being around and how difficult this person was. And he said "oh, so she's an EGR friend"? And of course I said "What's EGR?" and he replied "Extra Grace Required". :) I had to smile because I think--no I KNOW--that God looks at me pretty often and says "Oh, Laura...goodness, extra grace required today." :) I think talking about situations with that "EGR" friend made me see my own weaknesses even more clearly. We are all EGR people--and thank you, Lord that you provide it. Any amount of grace we need at any time. Here's hoping you have a wonderful grace-filled weekend!