Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? (Matthew 7:1-3 ESV).
Because we are all human and have flaws as well as good attributes, we have been guilty of passing judgement on others at some point in time in our lives. Judging can be very hurtful. It can cause one to reflect more on his insecurities rather than his own valuable self-worth.
When we choose to judge others, sometimes it is the result of our own insecurities and jealousies.
What we all must realize and understand is that no matter how flawed an individual may be, he is still a human being and is loved by God. James 4:12 (ESV) declares, “There is only one lawgiver and judge, He who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?”
None of us have any room to judge others because we all have skeletons in our closets that are “competing” to jump out. We should never let others own our self-worth because God made all of us in His image, so to Him, we all have worth, no matter what anyone else says. Therefore, our judging others doesn’t define who they are!
When we judge others, sometimes we do not realize that appearances can be deceiving. Further, we do not always know the whole story. The following illustration, “Things are not Always as They Appear,” is a prime example:
“A woman was flying from Seattle to San Francisco. Unexpectedly, the plane was diverted to Sacramento along the way. The flight attendant explained that there would be a delay, and if the passengers wanted to get off the aircraft, the plane would re-board in 50 minutes …
“Everybody got off the plane except one lady who was blind … A man had noticed her as he walked by and could tell the lady was blind because her guide dog lay quietly underneath the seats in front of her throughout the entire flight … He could also tell she had flown this very flight before because the pilot approached her, and calling her by name, said, ‘Kathy, we are in Sacramento for almost an hour. Would you like to get off and stretch your legs?’
“The blind lady said, ‘No thanks, but maybe Buddy would like to stretch his legs.’
“All the people in the gate area came to a complete standstill when they looked up and saw the pilot walk off the plane with a guide dog for the blind! Even worse, the pilot was wearing sunglasses! People scattered. They not only tried to change planes, but they were trying to change airlines.” (My Good Time Stories).
“Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment” (John 7:24 ESV).
The yardstick we use for ourselves is the yardstick we use for the world! Those of us who are actively involved in the community often have a tendency to see others who are not, as uncaring, lazy and not in tune with what is going on. Those of us who are experienced and well-traveled often have a tendency to see others who are not as unambitious, ignorant and lacking goals. Those of us who are believers in Christ often have a tendency to feel that those who are not, are hell-bound and not worthy of being saved.
“Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge.” (James 4:11 ESV)
Consequently, don’t be too quick to judge others, especially if your perspective of life is clouded by anger, jealousy, negativity or unfulfilled desires. Given all that is going on in our world right now, people do not need judgement, but encouragement. Our judging others doesn’t define who they are; it defines who we are.
“If we can begin to retrain our habitual way of passing judgment on others, we can open the door for meaningful connections that will enrich our lives, and the lives of others. At the very least, it will enable us to work at developing empathy and compassion for others as they, too, struggle to figure out this thing called life.
“Go. Be light in a dark world. Every day, we have an opportunity to be a light in the world, to raise the vibrational energy around us, and to be an agent of conciliation and healing. Let’s don’t waste those opportunities by making snap judgments about others that keep them, and us, stuck in the dark. The world needs our light. Go. Be light.” (Beth Bruno)
Have a wonderfully blessed week, stay safe, get involved in righting the wrongs of social injustice, and never leave home without Him!
(Anna Bright is a minister and educator in Walterboro. She can be reached at email@example.com)