The Judgment Free Zone….No Critics Allowed

I must admit that at the beginning of this year, I joined the millions of workout enthusiast that claimed their lives would change starting January 1, 2015. Most of the people in this category made promises to themselves, their families, and friends, and hopefully they added God into the mix. For me personally, I can’t eat right or workout without His assistance. So my desire to impress God by upholding my commitment to living a healthier lifestyle keeps me going.

This past Saturday I was up at the gym and I noticed that there were several signs that read “The Judgment Free Zone, No Critics Allowed”.

These statements were cute but they weren't completely honest. As much as this gym would like to promote a judgment free environment, they really have no control over the thoughts and opinions of their customers. I can admit that thoughts cross my mind at times but the God in me quickly dismisses them. I also find myself on the receiving end of many stares because I don’t “look like” a person that needs to lose weight or get in shape. My friends often tell me that I’m going to disappear if I continue to workout and eat like I do. I laugh but their comments can sometimes get to me.
We live in a world where we are constantly bombarded with images, labels, and stereotypes. The media tells us what we should look like, eat, and how we should dress and act. On top of that it depicts the “successful” as multi-millionaires or college graduates. The black culture is on an increasing decline and Christianity is full of fakes that don’t live the way The Bible tells them to. Our families, jobs, neighbors, and complete strangers all have their separate opinions about how we as individuals should live our lives. This process is very frustrating and it is easy to define our worth and put limits on ourselves based off of the opinions of others. But I’m here to tell you that you can live in a judgment free zone where no worldly critics are allowed.

I have lived my entire life trying to obtain the approval of others. I made sure that my appearance, my education, my career choices etc were all “people approved”. The Lord quickly checked me this year and reminded me that what the world has to say about me doesn’t matter. People aren’t going to like everything that I do. They won’t agree with all of my choices. Heck they will barely understand me which will make it impossible to appreciate who I am and what I represent. But God knows and He knows it all. He knows my faults, fears, and failures. He even knows my dreams, strengths, and future accomplishments. The greatest thing about Him is that He loves me just the same and He doesn't base His love for me on worldly scales and standards.

He is the ultimate judge and He should be the only person that we are trying to impress. Aiming to please God and worrying less about what others think has freed up my mind and has released a great amount of pressure off of my life. As long as I’m good enough in God’s eyes, the rest should all fall into place. Join me in making the daily decision to impress God in all that you do. We are His masterpiece whether the world sees it or not. Walk in excellence and achieve greatness. I’m rooting for you!

-Marlia Bryonne (Mom Squad Panelist)