Lately, I've been seeing a lot of Facebook posts about how people feel judged or inadequate whenever they walk through church doors. Of course, everywhere we go we WILL face judgment from other people, whether they have a right to judge us or not. And most of the time, THEY HAVE NO RIGHT. But, don't get all worked up and angry just because someone looked at you funny or outright judged your opinion or the way you look. Because sometimes we think people are judging us... When they're really not.
I realized some time ago that a sign of a backslidden heart (or a heart that is not right with God) is feeling like everyone in church is looking down upon them in judgment. I saw a friend go through it but I didn't catch it at the time. She always complained about how people were judging her and looking down on her - but I didn't see it. I thought that she was overreacting. What I thought was an adult trying to help/keep her from getting into a bad situation, she thought was someone trying to condemn her and get on her case about her decisions, which seemed a bit more grown up than a teenage girl could handle. Anyway, I didn't know what to believe. I ended up "siding" with what the adults said... And losing my best friend. I did not agree with the choices she made and when I told her that, she suddenly saw me as one of those judgmental people. My point is, she backslid and one of the major signs was that she suddenly saw every person who disagreed with her choices as someone trying to judge her.
I realized that I became the same way at one point in my life. I had sin in my life... Secret sin. When I went to church, I felt like everyone knew. I felt like everyone could tell what I had done and that they were looking at me in judgment. Suddenly everyone I knew had piercing, judgmental eyes that were tearing me apart, seeing right through me. But no one knew what I had done. So how could they judge me about my sin when they didn't even know what it was, or that I had even done it??? Well, they weren't judging me. I know this because as soon as I repented to GOD (not a person), the scary eyes went away.
So here's what I think: the devil uses this as a strategy to make us fall into sin. He whispers in our ears, "So-and-so is looking at you funny. They totally know what you did last night." or, say you don't have secret sin. Maybe you're just trying to live your life for God but you feel like everyone at your church is looking down on you and judging you. I'm not saying that judgmental people don't exist, but the devil can make it seem like 1 judgmental person is actually 10. I think that he does this to make us become hateful towards others. If he can make us hate the people of God, eventually he can make us hate God.
There is a solution to this - first, repent! Ask God to deal with your heart and show you anything you need to change. Then pray and ask God to help you fight the devil's lies! And also pray against any prejudices that may exist in your church. Pray for GOD to deal with it. Personally, I have a peace in my heart that no matter what people may say about me, God will deal with them. If you absolutely have to, talk to a leader you can trust in your church - and don't lose your trust in people just because they *could possibly* or *might* be judging you. And most of all... Trust God!!! It's in His hands :)