Women are good at a lot of things. My daughter just got back from a journalism conference. Every person on her newspaper staff is female. There are many women who are great with words. There are also fantastic female scientists, speakers, analysts, musicians, and doctors. I could keep going. But one thing we’re good at needs to change: standing in judgment of others. And by others, I’ll narrow it down further by saying we’re good at judging other women.
In my small part of the globe, I want to do my part to challenge women to break out of the comfortable rut of judgment. Last week, I talked about how we judge women based on their capacity. The woman who has many responsibilities can look down on those who have fewer. And those who have fewer are very capable of judging busy women for doing the wrong things or valuing the wrong things. (Don’t act surprised. Isn’t it true?)
As we turn the corner to stamp out judgment in another area, I can’t help but think about how we stand in judgment of other women’s appearances. It’s why fear runs through every woman who has to run to the grocery store for one forgotten item, or any mom who has to be a part of a school carpool line. What if someone sees me like this? Do I spend the time to put on make-up and clothes just to avoid the feeling of possibly being judged by that sharply dressed woman?
There are some who hold to the idea that a good wife must always be dressed to present her best when she’s in public. I tried that once… for a week. Then I asked my husband if that was important to him. I was so relieved that he couldn’t care less. Yet I still wonder if I’ll walk by one of those women when I’m not on my game.
The woman dressed in Lulu Lemon with her nails perfectly done can be quick to cast judgment on that girl who loves her sweats. And right back atcha – that girl in the sweats can quietly burn a hole of judgment into the back of Miss Lulu’s expensive gear. Step back and think how ridiculous that is… we even judge each other over workout clothes!
Instead of casting judgment when we look at another woman, what if we shower her with grace?
Instead of assuming the worst about someone, what if we decided to speak a word of encouragement to them?
The enemy does enough work on his own. Let’s not give him a whole army of critical spirits to take each other down with. The next time you sense that spirit of criticism welling up inside you, stamp it out by saying something kind. You have no idea how you might breathe life into someone who already has enough struggles.
And even better… I challenge you to speak words of grace and encouragement to two women each day between now and Easter. Ready? Go!!