Journey to Rediscover Jesus Day 16: Do Not Judge

I am stumbling over myself right now trying to find the right words for this chapter. If you have been following along with me, you know this chapter is about judging others. Recently {read this week} I was at the heart of someone’s wrong judgment. I am often at the receiving end of someone’s judgment, but this time it really hurt because it was from people who were supposed to be extending Christ’s mercy instead of judgment. It was doled out in heavy doses by people from my own church. It hurt and it made me angry. I’m still trying to figure out how to deal with it.

However, being on the receiving end {again} of someone’s judgment tends to help me see how not to treat others. I’m often judged on my family size, my decision to homeschool, our Catholic faith, Mike’s job, my weight, our financial status, our home, our vehicles, etc. etc. etc. Over the years I have learned to ignore some of it, but if I am to be honest, it still hurts every time. I know I’m a sensitive soul and I guess because I try so hard not to judge others and I try to put myself in other people’s shoes, it is hard for me to understand people who like to gossip about others and judge them as worthy or unworthy of whatever. I plan to write more about my experiences with this at the beginning of the week after I cool down and after I figure out exactly what God wants me to say about it.

Chapter 16: Do Not Judge

I think at some point in our lives we’ve each been guilty of judging others. It might be as simple as talking about someone’s outfit or their hairstyle, or it may be something much more like judging someone’s worth or abilities or intentions. When we don’t know the full story it’s easy to fill in the blanks as we see fit. Unfortunately when we do so we not only hurt others, we hurt Christ too because we cannot fully love God if we are judging others.

It seems these days the word “judgment” is taken out of context in many situations. We are told we are judging others when we simply point out a mistake or a sinful behavior or even if we say we disagree with someone’s lifestyle or choices. But true judgment isn’t these things… true judgment is making assumptions and believing the worst about someone; it is condemning others and it is devoid of love. We can disagree with each other or point out sinful behaviors but can still love each other. However, when we judge we are simply putting ourselves in God’s position and assuming we have the right to condemn others. We don’t have this right.

We must change our attitudes from ones of judgment to ones of charity and love. When we look at people through the Christ’s eyes we see them in a completely different way. Instead of judging we should be serving one another with love and mercy.

Point to Ponder: Whenever you are tempted to judge someone, turn your attention to seeing that person as a child of God.

You’ve heard of “rose-colored glasses” I’m sure. What if we had “Jesus-colored glasses” to put on so that we could see each other the way Christ sees us? Instead of judging I think we would love each other so much more. We could see the hurts, the trials, and the crosses that we each bear. We would understand then how much our condemnation destroys the hearts of those whom we heap judgment upon. I imagine we would choose to do and say things much differently if we saw others through Christ’s eyes.

Verse to Live: “Who are you to judge your neighbor?” James 4:12

Friends, we are not called to look at one another and cast judgment. Are we supposed to help lead one another to Christ? Yes. Are we supposed to point out where our brothers and sisters might be steering away from God’s path? Absolutely! But we aren’t supposed to judge one another. We aren’t supposed to condemn, ridicule, or gossip about each other. We are called to love. Love is not present when our mouths and hearts are full of judgment.

Question to Consider: How will your key relationships improve if they are free from judgment?

I think when we free ourselves from judging we open our hearts to fuller and more honest relationships. For me this means understanding that sometimes people will fail and I will love them anyway. It means that sometimes I will fail, and I still deserve love too. When we free ourselves from judging others we open our hearts to God’s love. We may fool ourselves into thinking we can, but we simply can’t love and judge at the same time.

Your Turn: Are you judgmental of others? Have you ever suffered from someone’s judgment of you? How can this make you more empathetic to others and help you control your desire to judge?

Prayer: Jesus, make me aware just before I am about to fall into judging someone, and give me the grace to stop myself.

Help me to see others through your eyes. Lord, I want to love fully and completely and I know that I can’t do this if my heart is full of judgment. Empty my heart of judgment and instead fill it with your love.

 

I apologize for the delay in getting this reflection up today. I was blessed to be present with my Confirmation students today as they were Confirmed in Christ this morning. 40 teens were sealed with the gifts of the Holy Spirit. I ask you to keep them in your prayers please.  Add that to a day with a crazy 3 year old and his crazy just-turned-5 year old brother (plus all the others!) and the day was busy! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s