Is It Christian Enough?

Have you ever put yourself out there, only to find that instead of praise and applause you received critique and judgment?

With the release of my book, Taking Care of Mama, I have been sharing it with other Christian mamas to hopefully, enjoy and spread the word about this new resource for mothers who are trying to balance looking after themselves and their little ones. Overall, it’s been a wonderfully positive experience.

However, just last week, I was about to follow up with an Instagram book reviewer, when I saw on her page the recognizable sunflower of my book’s cover. I clicked on the image to see that indeed she had already done a review of my book—she had strongly emphasized that she disagreed with me theologically, disapproved of my reference to a handful of psychologists, accused my work of being just another self-help book, and that she would not recommend my book whatsoever!

I found myself completely stunned and perplexed that another Christian mother could dislike my book so much! There were biblical references and scattered verses throughout the entire book. I wrote from the perspective of having lived my whole life with Christian faith—did she actually read all of my book? Would she have rated it better, had I left out some quotes and practical tips from some well-known psychologists (two of which are Christians and the others have a relationship with God and are certainly not against Christ)? Did she read the part about my marriage going through a rough season—hence, creating the need to get help from therapists? And what was so wrong about sharing useful tips from my own time in therapy alongside seeking wisdom from the Bible and praying? If we never work on ourselves holistically, how can we ever really offer the best of ourselves to our families? In her eyes, was my work not Christian enough?

A mixture of anger and annoyance welled up as I processed my “heart-and-soul” in book form being slammed by a complete stranger, who at the very least, should have found some nourishing and relatable stories from one mother to another. Talking it through with my husband, we both agreed that sadly, there will always be some people who dislike us in life and all the more so when we are sharing our work through an unforgiving internet where people are quick to give opinions without really considering it all first. I have chosen to not respond—except to pray for her and ask that God would meet her at her point of need, all the while I have personally been letting go of her dismissal.

My point of this post isn’t to go on and on about one negative review—this is bound to happen with any book, but I do want to reflect on how Christians should treat others. The most shocking aspect for me was the judgment that was heaped onto my book and essentially me. It awakened me that there are certain Christians who feel their version and practice of Christianity is somehow more valid, allowing them to judge the faith of others. It is sad that even Christians truly judge other Christians. Perhaps these believers feel spiritually threatened with any reference to psychology, counselling, and are unwilling to be challenged with a mixture of their mental health, emotions, and faith?

I was reminded of the passage in Matthew 7:3-5 where Jesus condemns those who obsess over a speck of sawdust in a brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in their own. Essentially, Jesus was saying that we need to be really careful with looking down on others, as if we are so much better! Jesus himself wasn’t always welcomed or popular, so I can take comfort in knowing that He knows what it’s like to receive insults and to be disliked. In 2 Corinthians 12:10, Paul talks of embracing his weaknesses, insults, and challenges so that Christ’s strength can shine through in his life. Likewise, I can relate with Paul.

If someone has such a problem with me or my work, it is really that person’s issue—not mine. I can commit the situation to God and let it go. The takeaway lesson is to not be so narrow-minded or underestimate how God is working in another Christian or non-Christian’s life. Ultimately, we are accountable to God alone, not the scrutiny of others—particularly those who are supposed to be siblings with us in faith.

So whether you are tempted to judge another person or you find yourself in the hot seat of being judged, let’s humble ourselves before God, recognizing Him as the one and only, worthy Judge—letting us instead focus on loving, supporting, and always pointing others back to Jesus.

10 thoughts on “Is It Christian Enough?

  1. It’s heartbreaking and stunning to me that as Christians we tear each other apart. You’d think we’d have a better understanding of healthy faith, and some do for sure!! But sadly there are a lot of so-called ‘Christians’ out there who give a negative representation of Christianity, and maybe their faith is truly genuine but unfortunately it’s poorly shown.
    Makes me realize how much more need for Christ there is, to look to Him for authentic comfort and peace and to pray for one another all the more.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Alicia! Absolutely, I think it’s tricky because everyone has a different experience of faith. However, I think it is better to show love and caring than to judge and “cancel” each other. More Jesus for sure—that is my prayer that we always look more and more to Him.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sadly, this is so common. I saw a snippet recently where a pastor called any Christian who is a democrat a non-believer. It’s crazy. So don’t someone else’s immaturity take you down. I want to applaud your vulnerability in sharing about therapy and endorse the wisdom in seeking professional help. If more Christians were wise and humble enough to seek professional help when needed we would have a lot more mature believers on the planet. My wife and I have benefitted tremendously from therapy. Keep going Joy!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am sorry that this person was so negative about what you wrote. It is sad how freely Christian’s judge others instead of uplifting and encouraging. And I really do not see anything wrong with counselling or therapy. It helps. As you said Joy with some people their version of Christianity is right and everything else is not. And not everyone’s story or experience is going to be relatable. She did not have a connect with your experiences, it does not mean it is useless for everyone else.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is a beautiful response:
    I have chosen to not respond—except to pray for her and ask that God would meet her at her point of need, all the while I have personally been letting go of her dismissal.

    So happy for the release of your book and the wisdom it will share with mothers globally.
    Blessings- Kate

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m sorry you got such a response, especially from another Christian. I personally am still trying to uncover why Christians are so against self help if the self help points us back to Christ. I am also wrestling over the reasons Christians can be so black and white in opinions when really there is so much gray in life. Thank you for your sharing on marriage and sometimes the need for therapy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, ChuHui! Those are my thoughts exactly, if self help points us back to Christ and we include God in our therapy, it doesn’t pose a threat to Christian faith. I think some Christians need to be at a point of desperate need, before they can possibly think of therapy as an option.

      Liked by 1 person

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