Ban cookie-cutter Christianity please! (Matt 7v5)

God made us to stand out not to blend in!  Photo of  purple Iris set against a wild, organic garden

God made us to stand out not to blend in!

We have no right to judge others and I wanted to illustrate that to some young people.  At youth group, I gave some 10-16 year olds play dough and asked them to have a go at modelling Eeyore or  Winnie the Pooh or Tigger or Piglet’s face or perhaps a butterfly….

After allowing some time for them to do that – I asked them whether it would help or hinder if I gave them all cookie cutters so they could do it the “right way”. They all agreed it might be easier but that it wouldn’t be the right thing to do.  They thought the same as me, that it would just leave someone thinking: “What’s the point… why bother…!! It’s never good enough!” You would probably feel insulted and/or disheartened…  You might have been proud of your own efforts and now be sat there feeling judged, found wanting.

We sometimes do that to other people when we judge them or tell them they are not good enough… That doesn’t show love, not the kind of love that God has for each one of us…

If I compared my 8-year-old daughter’s drawing to my 13-year-old son’s and expected it to be the same or better that would be unfair.  It is reasonable for me to expect more accuracy and detail from my 13-year-old – unless she’s unusually gifted at drawing.   It’s a bit like that with being a Christian.  We are all  at different stages  – and sometimes it can feel like we are sliding backwards rapidly downhill rather than moving forwards – even if we are trying are best. When people criticize us it’s as if they knock us down just as we were reaching out a hand for a lift up.

“We hear about 9 negatives for every positive” [source unknown].

If we are going to live a grace filled life – we need to change our language – starting with the little voice inside our own heads telling us where we’ve messed up, rather than where we got it right.  When we “dump” on others and tell them where they got something wrong, it often reflects our own areas of struggle or weakness.  The bible tells us to in Matthew 7v5

New Living Translation (©2007) “Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.”

I’m sure God sits in heaven and laughs sometimes when we tell others how to live their lives – as He knows better than anyone all the areas we fail to make good on our words!  But God never gives up on us… He sticks with us through thick and thin – even when we get things like this wrong, and appear unloving despite all our best efforts.

© Copyright Michelle Sherlock 30/05/2011 (Photo added May 2014)

  1. This is wonderful advice for Christians and non-Christians alike!
    Russ

    • Thanks – yeah we all need to learn to be more tolerant of one another. Every time I’ve made a list of people to befriend who seem more sorted than me, I’ve found when I got to know them better that they were facing similar challenges to me. We need to be kinder to ourselves too

  2. You are a good messenger.

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