Please Don’t Become Self-Righteous With Your Choices

This is a hard post for me to write.  I realize that some things I want to share from my heart may cause you to become upset with me. Please know that I do not think of myself better than anyone else.  I, myself, have struggled in this area for many years.

Please, hear me out on this.

I want to talk about how being self-righteous and judging others for living a lifestyle different from you, is not productive to helping people.  

Ten years ago, I gave birth to my one and only child. Something happened when he was born that made me want to do better when it came to making choices for him. I wanted to do the very best I could for him in all areas. So, I breast fed for eight months, when it was not the easiest thing for me to do and, in fact, it possibly caused me to bond later with him than if I would have put him on formula. But, I felt like I couldn’t put him on formula because of the pressure I put on myself based on the opinions of others. I often hear stories from other moms about how they felt judged for making the choice to formula feed their baby after breast feeding did not work for them. This hurts my heart that they feel unworthy and that someone else made them feel this way.

I’m going to tell you something that is not a shock to those who are close to me… occasionally, we eat McDonalds, AND sometimes I buy convenience foods, because that’s what I need, something convenient, AND I love smelly chemical filled lotions. Oh, and don't forget my addiction to good smelling laundry detergent and fabric softener! I have even watched the food documentaries about how fast food places get their massive amounts of beef and chicken, and while I disagree with the practices, and I am thankful for those who fight for better care for the animals, I still choose to eat at these places. I have had to stop reading so many blogs and unsubscribe from a few Facebook groups because all I do is feel like a failure when comparing myself to their "perfection."

So, I hide my choices.
I try not to take pictures of us enjoying meals at these places. I make sure my photos on my blog try to represent an ‘everything from scratch’ lifestyle. My child is fully vaccinated. I don’t think the FDA consists of all evil people who want to kill us with packaged foods. I don’t believe all doctors are buy-outs to the drug companies, and I don’t believe giving your baby formula makes you a bad mother.  I love modern conveniences like washers, dryers, refrigerators, and electricity. Most of the choices that we make as family come from wanting to get the most out of our money and being good stewards of what God has blessed us with. I don’t consider myself crunchy, I’m frugal. It cost me less to make bread than to buy it, water is cheaper than soda, growing and canning our own produce saves a ton on groceries in the winter. 

I think instead of hyper-focusing on every chemical we may come in contact with, or making a stand to only eat organic, and feeling like eating convenient food choices occasionally will kill us, we should remember what’s really and truly important in life.  Do you realize that when you make a stand and choose to not show mercy and grace to others who make different choices than you, that you are not being Christ-like?

Christ was radical and He did radical things. He loved people where they were at and He did not try to change them before He loved them. He did not give them a list of things He thought they should do before He welcomed them with open arms.

Let's talk about the single mother who barely has time for her children after working all day, but is expected (by food Pharisees) to grow and preserve her own food, buy organic when her budget doesn’t allow it, and keep up on all her other responsibilities.  What about the young, twenty-year-old, new mom who is having such a hard time with her first baby and everything she reads gives her no support but only makes her feel frustrated and lonely? 

I am so very weary of this battle. I am weary of moms fighting over vaccinations, modern medical care, and being angry at other moms who are feeding their children fruit treats with food coloring and ramen noodles for lunch. Where is the mercy and grace in that?

I often wonder what would happen to us if we spent as much time reading scripture and ministering to the homeless, widows, and orphans as we do researching essential oils, alternative medications, vaccinations, and pesticides on our foods. I’m preaching to myself here, folks!

Listen, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t try to do better. I’m not saying that we should just throw the towel in and go back to how it was before we were educated in some of these areas. I just want things to be put in a better perspective and I want us to love each other instead of judge one another. The moment that you refuse to eat at a church potluck or you talk about another mother behind her back about what she is feeding her children, you may want to check yourself and look up the definition of what a Pharisee is. You also may want to research idolatry if you're a Christian and see if you may be spending a bit too much time on these things and not an equal or a greater amount of time into your relationship with Christ.

Life is always, and forevermore, about Jesus Christ and reaching people with His love. It’s all about loving them, caring for their needs, being there for them when they need you. We are called to preach the gospel to the ends of earth. Above all else, this is should be our main focus.

Imagine lying on your deathbed…no, I’m serious…picture it in your mind… will you be lying there saying “I wish I would have planted organic potatoes instead of those cheap ones”, or do you think you may be wishing you had spent more time with people you love and would have stopped worrying so much over every little daily decision? My mother-in-law, who would have celebrated her 71st birthday on March 18th, died on April 18th2013 from cancer. I have never known another person who avoided chemicals like she did. When she was in the hospital, she told my son that he needed to not worry about things so much because in the end it doesn’t really matter.

Love people!  It’s all about love! Let’s make choices for our families that we think are best, but learn to relax and let go when we need to. Let’s not worry so much about other’s choices and focus on doing what we are called to do. Let’s put as much time into reading our Bibles and nourishing our spirits as we do researching alternative ways to heal our bodies.

Don’t let this lifestyle become an idol to you, something that separates you from your sisters or brothers in Christ. Perhaps by loving them where they are instead of judging them, you may get the chance to give them some of your big, juicy, red, tomatoes that you have grown and they will want to learn to garden too.

“For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all, so that I may win more. To the Jews I became as a Jew, so that I might win Jews; to those who are under the Law though not being myself under the law, so that I might win those who are under the Law; to those who are without law, as without law, though not being without the law of God but under the law of Christ, so that I might win those who are without law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak; I have become all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some. I do all things for the sake of the gospel, so that I may become a fellow partaker of it.” 1 Corinthians 9:19-23