Judgments. Ah. It is so easy to place judgments on other people. It only takes a second to criticize. Without even thinking, we silently disapprove of the outfit that is not church appropriate, we make a face when we hear about someone’s lifestyle, or we criticize someone’s physical appearance. I think society as a whole has become so critical and judgmental that we don’t even realize when we place judgments on others. It has sadly almost become a way of life. We have become so prideful in thinking that the world should run as we wish it to. We have come to think that people should act, dress, live, and speak in a manner of which we approve.
I have fallen victim to my pride far too many times.
We are all supposed to love others and not judge them. Jesus says that the second greatest commandment is to love our neighbors as ourselves. (Matthew 22:39) How often do we truly love others the way we should? My pride overrides my love and before I know it I am making judgments about everyone and everything. Whether they are true or not; they are judgments and they are wrong.
There have been some occasions when I am sitting in church and the people behind me are chatting away. How dare they? They are in church. They should take their chit chat outside. I am TRYING to pray. Judgment. Automatic, unintentional, and unjust judgment. I have no right to judge these people who are having a conversation. They may be conversing about a life or death situation. Maybe they are old friends who ran into each other and have no idea they are being a disturbance to others. Or maybe, just maybe, I need to learn to concentrate on our Lord better.
The horrible driver in front of you. You yell at him telling him what a horrible driver he is. Maybe his wife died today and he his not able to clearly concentrate on the road. It's possible he is lost. As hurtful as it may be to you pride, you are not the perfect driver either. Until we become perfect drivers; we have no right to judge.
There are those people who come to church late and walk right up to the front row. Or there are those who leave early every week. Ah, this is a good one. Thought process? How come they come so late? And they loudly walk right up to the front of the church? Then they leave early to top it off? Oh, pride. Oh, judgments. We have no right to make these judgments. Maybe these people have a deathly ill relative they need to care for. Did that ever cross your mind?
It often crosses my mind- after I place those horrible judgments.
"Stop judging, that you may not be judged. For as you judge, so will you be judged.” (Matthew 7: 1-2)
Wow. Do we even need anymore reason to stop judging?
It is a darn good thing that our God is a forgiving and merciful God. We so often fail at the perfection we are called to. “So, be perfect just as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48) We may never reach this holy perfection; however, we must try. Among many things, this holy perfection consists of a love that is free of judgment. This love does not mean agreeing with someone’s way of life, the language they use, or another’s beliefs but it does mean treating them with the love and respect that they as a person deserve. It was the love of the Father for the Son and the Son for the Father that resulted in Jesus being expiation for our sins, and not for our sins only but for those of the whole world. (1 John 2:3). So, take this time and ask the Lord to help you to love others fully this day- without judgment. Make the effort to look upon others whom you would normally judge with the love of the Father. Replace a judgment with an act of love. The power of love can do incredible things.