God is giving me many opportunities to choose love instead of becoming angry back at those who are critical. My Aunt Betty said if I don’t judge back, it will help break the negative cycle between me and them. Then healing can happen. I wrote this excerpt during our spiritual direction session last year. My Aunt Betty’s words to me are in red:
There is a lot of pain in what you’re going through. Yet, look how God’s used it to help you grow stronger. He’s brought forth a lot of grace in you through this. We are standing in a mystery. The way I have chosen to look at life is that when I find stuff like this in my life, I need to be faithful to the call God gave me. Then, mysteriously, a door opens that leads to another door, leading to greater freedom. So, this is the mystery of good and evil that may be in eternity we will understand. But, we can look at the tools we have in the moment and cooperate with grace. So, the tool you have in the moment is standing before the Lord with a humble, contrite heart repenting of your sins. Ask for His tremendous grace to handle this as He wants you to handle it, not out of your stubborn will.
There’s a heavy negative judgment you’ve put on them that you haven’t renounced. That could be the hook. They pick up that you don’t care. Is this the way Christ would act? Can you say, “Lord, in the area where my heart is unrepentant, and I have chosen to stay in judgment, my heart has been hardened. I don’t want to insult you by choosing to live in an unrepentant state. I know these choices continue to bring me more suffering and heartache, thus lessening the glory that I can give to you by reflecting this hardness of heart. Help me get in a place of softening and of choosing your glory above all things. Help me be willing to leave this place of self-righteousness and pride. Help me see myself as the sinner I am before you. Help me turn my eyes away from other’s faults to my own sinfulness and the part I play in this whole matter. By acting cold-hearted like this, I am teaching my children the ways of sin, rather than those of grace.
Would you rather stay in Hell than move out of this place? Think about it. Has your stubborn kid made a hidden vow that she’s closed her heart to them, and she’s never going to open it up to them again? Does she have her mind made up? You have a heart of stone here that needs to go into repentance in order for the Lord to make movement. He won’t force you against your will to become like unto Him. You’ve got to choose that. In choosing that, at times, we have to choose the pain of being uncomfortable and making a choice that our stubborn heart and will does not want to make. I hear her saying, “I will not open this door. I will not open my heart. I don’t want to care. I don’t want to be hurt anymore.“
Ask the Lord to show you what lie you’ve accepted in yourself that would want to hang on to being cold in your judgment towards them. When your heart is like ice, you are imitating the evil one and the choices he made. You’re saying, “This is the way they are. I could care less about them.” We can’t do that and still be like Christ. “Jesus meek and humble of heart, make my heart like unto Thine.” That’s a tall order, but that’s what you’re being asked to pray for, namely for that grace to be like He is.