S.R.Claridge writes Mystery and Romantic Suspense novels. Her work has been said to have the energy of Dan Brown, the mystery of Mary Higgins Clark and the humor of Janet Evanovich. Claridge novels will take you to the edge of your seat, keep you guessing until the very end and ultimately warm your heart. It is on the pages of every S.R.Claridge novel that Mystery and Sensual Suspense collide.

For more information on bookings, interviews and upcoming releases, please visit the author website and Facebook fan page.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Can I Get an AMEN up In Here?!

I overheard a conversation the other day between two women.  One was having difficulty dealing with daily life.  If I could break down all she shared into the simplest form, I would say she was feeling overwhelmed.  There were no major issues of illness, adultery or murder.  No one robbed a bank, got arrested or assaulted anyone else.  She was simply expressing the exhausting trials associated with juggling parenting, marriage and a career.

There were moments during their conversation when she cried, and my heart wept with empathy for her.  We’ve all been there.  In fact, I live there.  No matter how blessed we are, there are still days when we wonder how we’re going to get through….how we’re going to get it all done…and we feel like we just can’t handle one more thing.  It's those "calgon, take me away" moments.

As they talked and I eavesdropped, I had to force myself to bite my tongue and resist the temptation to barge into their conversation.  The friend, instead of just listening, took it upon herself to seize the moment for preaching.  She reminded her teary-eyed friend that the Bible tells us to do all things without complaining or grumbling or getting angry or being bitter and upset.  The tears that had pooled in the woman’s eyes now ran down her cheeks as the friend continued.  “Jesus tells us to be holy and seek perfection and to practice self-control…”

This went on for quite some time with the friend quoting Scripture and it took all of my strength not to leap to my feet and yell, “Shut-up!  You hypocritical bimbo!”  That’s what I was yelling inside my head.  Now, I don’t really know if this woman is a hypocrite or a bimbo, but those were the words that popped into my mind.

See, I can’t stand people like her.  I don’t have any close girlfriends who respond this way, and that’s a purposeful decision on my part.  There’s an uppity class of Christians who believe in holding one another accountable before the Lord… and even though the idea of this is Biblical…the method with which they carry it out is not.  I don’t associate with this kind of Christian for this very reason.

I believe God is way more concerned with us uplifting one another than holding one another "accountable."  I believe our main job is to love one another and not to judge.  The woman who got on her preachy high-horse in an attempt to help hold her friend accountable to God’s principals of Christianity, made her feel judged instead of loved.

This, quite frankly, pisses me off, and makes me want to tell every upity, know-it-all Christian what they can go kiss...

Jesus said, “Faith. Hope and Love; but the greatest of these is Love.”  When a girlfriend is crying, love doesn’t tell her she shouldn’t be bitter or angry or grumble.  Love says, “Cry it out.  I’m here.  I understand.  Life sucks sometimes.”

When a girlfriend is overworked and overwhelmed and feeling that she just can’t do one more thing, love doesn’t tell her she should seek perfection and strive for self-control.  Love says, “Can I help you?  Let me take the kids for a while and give you guys a date night.  Let's go have a coffee and whine a little.” (or wine a little!) 

Love listens…it does not preach…and it never judges.

Christianity is defined as having a “personal relationship with Jesus Christ” because it is just that:  PERSONAL.  That means it’s between God and you…no one else.  No one else has the right to preach to you or at you or judge you, not even when they are judging you with fundamental, Biblical principles.  Those principles are there for you to hold yourself accountable and for God to hold you accountable.  He doesn’t use them to judge you so what gives anyone else the right?  God uses those principles to help you grow and learn and become all that He has made you to be.  He doesn’t use them against you to beat you up or tear you down.  Only elitist Christians riding around on high-horses do that…and shame on them!

Can I get a frickin’ Amen up in here?!



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