Life Isn’t Graded on a Bell Curve - Encouragement Café - Mar. 6, 2014

Life Isn’t Graded on a Bell Curve

Café Menu for Thursday, March 6, 2014

Today’s Special is: Inward Focused

Carefully prepared just for you by your friend, Noelle Dey

Main Ingredient:

So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.

Romans 14:12 NLTCross reference


It’s hard to call yourself a fitness professional when you’re bribing your daughter with doughnuts.

We were searching for a church to call “home,” and the promise of a glazed Krispy Kreme proved to be an effective incentive to get our daughter to go to Sunday school by herself… again.

I kissed her goodbye in front of the fourth-grade classroom. All went well until I realized a few parents were glaring at my little girl.

It didn’t take long to put two and two together. Sierra’s sense of style didn’t fit that upscale community. Her Wal-mart polka dotted t-shirt clashed with her wildly patterned skirt. But as far as she was concerned, her neon running shoes tied the whole look together.

The moment I saw their scowls, rapid-fire thoughts blazed in my mind. I found myself trying to shine a light on their flaws.

I prayed, “Lord, would you look at them? Do something! I mean, I know I have my issues, but I would never judge their kids!”

God was speaking to my heart, but I wasn’t ready to listen until my quiet time the next morning.

“So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God” (Romans 14:12).

Ourselves. As in, not others.

I’ve always felt more comfortable in classes that were graded on a curve. I might not be the smartest, but I can certainly do better than some.

And that’s the way I’ve viewed life.

But God doesn’t grade on a curve. God is calling me to give an account of my life. He wants me to focus on my heart and my relationship with Him.

He also reminded me that everyone has a story. No matter what I see in others, I never have enough information to pass judgment on their hearts.

Take Out:

Have you ever been tempted to play the comparison game? Or do you find yourself trying to keep up with the Joneses? If so, here is the three-step process that has helped me tremendously:

1. Remember that the person you want to judge has a story. If you knew it, chances are you’d be overflowing with compassion instead of judgment.

2. Pray that their hearts would be tender to receive God’s perfect love.

3. Choose a love action from 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 that you can implement immediately. (Be patient, kind, humble, persevere, etc.)


Dear Heavenly Father, Thank You for focusing intimately on us. Empower us through Your Holy Spirit in the moments when we want to compare ourselves to others. Show us how to love instead of judging or comparing. In Jesus’ Name, Amen! Cross references:

  1. Luke 12:22: 12:22-31pp — Mt 6:25-33
  2. Luke 12:24: Job 38:41; Ps 147:9

For more encouragement, check out Noelle’s book: Transformation by Truth: 30 days to a healthy heart, mind and body

© 2014 by Noelle Dey. All rights reserved.

Do you know Jesus Christ as your personal Savior? Pull up a chairHe’s been waiting for you.

Need a refill? Please join us at the Encouragement Café with Luann and Friends.

The conversation at the Café is always hot and fresh. We invite you to listen in as Luann and Friends gather around the table to discuss everyday life.

Comfort food for your soul is always on our menu, and friends are always close enough to hug. We invite you to join us daily, as our writer’s share how the Lord continues to transform them into His glorious image.

Still craving more…Join us as we grow together in grace and truth through our online bible study

Stop by Encouragement Café and listen as the girls share life. Find podcasts, videos, Bible studies, prayer, resources and daily helpings of hope, laughter and friendship around our table. We've saved a seat just for you!

Originally published Thursday, 06 March 2014.