It’s Not My Job To Clean Up Someone Else’s Room!

Reflection - John D. Austin

A truth smeared is a lie.

I am grieved.  Many of us have become so quick to compromise the truth in hopes that we will not appear judgmental.  Being judgmental and choosing to live according to God’s words are two different things.

We should not compromise God’s word for the mere comfort of others.  His word and His statutes have not changed.  We most certainly are called to “love our neighbors as ourselves”, but love is not the act of agreeing with someone or making people comfortable in their wrong living.  Extending grace and being an enabler of wrong are not one in the same.  Sincere love must sometimes correct.

I’m becoming increasingly burdened by the many pastors and evangelist who are choosing to preach only half of the truth now.  We have permitted an atmosphere of comfort and tolerance for so long that we now have a spoiled society.  Had my parents chosen not to correct me when needed, I could have been hit by a car because I felt like running into the street to get the ball I was playing with.  Had they not set boundaries in place to keep me safe, I may have been bitten by the dog that looked as cuddly as my favorite stuffed bear.  They knew and understood the dangers around me, and they loved me enough to let me kick and scream when I didn’t get my way.  They set me free from so much harm by allowing my little feelings to be hurt for a moment.  It wasn’t healthy for them to simply be my friend and make me happy, they needed to walk in the role of being my parents.  Despite our feelings, we need our Pastors to shepherd us more than give us another feel good message of why we’re ok.  I would not have been ok had I been allowed to run into the street or pet the fluffy puppy.

I did not like my parents when they grounded me or spanked the little padded bottom God gave me.  I certainly did say “spanked”.  It hurt too, and I’m better for it!  I ran away from home when I was 5 years old because I got so angry at not hearing what I wanted to hear from them, and for not being allowed to do whatever I felt like doing.  I made it all the way to the end of the driveway.  I was really mad when my mom offered me a quarter to call when I was ready to come home.  Ugh!  Saying “quarter” makes me feel old and I don’t like that much either, but the reality is I grew up with a pay phone on just about every corner.  There’s a lot in life that we will not care to face, but truth is truth and denial of the truth will not change it.

Who likes being told no?  Who likes to feel the pain of disappointing another person?  Who likes when the spotlight exposes a less than desirable attribute within themselves?  Not many that I know, but we may never wrestle with ourselves to be a better us if we never have to feel these uncomfortable moments.

If we are trying to win a popularity contest rather than being a true conduit of the Word, then we must ask ourselves why?

Isn’t the one accusing me of being judgmental also casting their own judgement on me?  Why is it ok for the mainstream media to accuse me of being intolerant when they’re the ones using their positions of power to achieve their agenda?  All the while, I’m not being given the same platform but told I should keep my beliefs to myself so others do not feel bad.  What about the way they make me feel?  I don’t believe it’s my lifestyle choices that are making others feel bad or judged, as much as it is their own internal struggle between right and wrong?  Jesus said He is “the light of the world”.  When you shine a light in a dark room it exposes all that’s in it, the good the bad and the ugly.  It’s not my job to clean up someone else’s room or to be their judge.  Only the owner of the room can decide what to do with the stuff inside.  It’s also not my fault if the flashlight I am caring with me exposes what they own.

“For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before His eyes, and He is the one to whom we are accountable.  So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe.” – Hebrews 4:12-14

“It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow.”  Ouch!  This tells me that choosing to live right is not always going to feel good, but it will produce good if allowed to.  Trying to win the approval of everybody may prove deadly to the one we allow to run into the street.  Truthfully, living under the facade of being “non-judgmental” is more about keeping me comfortable.  It’s more about my feelings not the other person.  It’s more about being self-centered than tolerant.

Sincere love is willing to risk hurt feelings for a moment to potentially save another from something that could cause a life-time of pain.  If I see that you’re about to step on a bee, wouldn’t you want me to tell you?  I sure would want you to warn me of potential pain.  If you tell me about the bee but I still choose to step anyway, then that’s my choice and I will have to feel its sting.  Once you’ve warned me you are no longer responsible for where my foot lands, but I’m going to be really upset if I find out you knew and did not tell me.

Of course you would tell me about the bee!  Ok, what if I was cutting myself?  About to drive after drinking too much?  About to throw away my beautiful family by having an affair?  Would you offer counsel?  Would you at least ask me a few questions to try to make me think differently before I make such life altering decisions?  Or would you justify your silence with the fear of not wanting to appear judgmental?  These questions bring me to my conclusion, that by me choosing to remain silent, it’s more about me staying likable rather than making someone else comfortable.

To warn someone of a potential danger, with the possibility of laying down my own life’s comfort, is not being judgmental – it’s love.

“Love is not self-seeking…it always protects” – 1 Cor. 13

One more thought to ponder.  So often I hear the excuse, “Well who am I to judge?  I’m not perfect.”  Well duh!  Only Jesus is perfect, but He still calls us to love our neighbor as ourself.  How do you want to be loved?  With truth or tolerance?  Maybe the first person we need to be truthful with is ourself?  Then we will be able to love truly.

May God give us the courage to always walk and speak in love.


The whole truth and nothing but the truth, for truth is what sets us free.


  1. Charles Amonett said,

    04/04/2013 at 11:50

    I agree, Shannan.

    The commandments to love God and our neighbor have been part of the Lord’s gospel from the beginning.

    There is a difference, however, in the first and second great commandments. We are to love God with no boundaries or limits. However, we are to love our neighbor as ourselves.

    People who really love themselves strive to do what God commands them. They hold themselves accountable to keep their desires, passions, and behavior within the boundaries God sets.

    Consequently, loving our neighbors includes the expectation that our neighbors should also keep their desires, passions, and behavior within the boundaries God sets.

    Simply put, we don’t love our neighbors by offering to drive the getaway car if they want to rob a bank. We don’t love our neighbors by offering them a bottle of poison if they want to harm themselves. Instead, loving our neighbors includes helping them avoid doing what’s wrong. Loving our neighbors as ourselves really means helping them succeed in obeying Heavenly Father’s will.

    “Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him. Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD.” (Old Testament | Leviticus 19:17 – 18)

    “And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.” (Old Testament | Deuteronomy 6:5)

    “Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” (New Testament | Matthew 22:36 – 40)


  2. Veronica Varallo said,

    04/05/2013 at 11:50

    Very graciously stated and with Truth. What a beautiful writer you are my precious friend. May the Lord bless you and others from the talent He has given you. L’Shalom

  3. Juliette Tuttobene said,

    04/05/2013 at 11:50

    Excellently said, Shannan! My spirit is in union with yours, dear sister. These words are not easy to walk out, but we must. Ravi Zacharias says that just because a person has a propensity toward a certain sin the standard doesn’t change. The life of Christ is the standard, it never changes. Perfection is the standard, we are to always strive toward the goal. We are running a race! You don’t fall and stay there like some ignorant fool – you get up! Hopefully some kind person will give you some help.
    Lets keep running…I just got my second wind, yeah!

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