Judgment

A decision, determination, or opinion made about another person or thing

Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers.  Voltaire

No man can judge another, because no man knows himself.  Thomas Browne

We do not judge men by what they are in themselves, but what they are relatively to us. Ann Swetchine

 

 We have many taboos against judging others. Sages and philosophers warn us about sitting in judgment. Should someone who is fallible be allowed to sit in judgment of someone else?

 The process of judging others is often taken too lightly. It is a serious calling. There have been many TV shows and movies about court room dramas. There are daytime television shows dedicated to what happens in judge’s courtrooms. Innocent people are sometimes wrongly convicted and some even get executed. We expect judgment to be infallible. It is not perfect. Those who judge are human, fallible and do make mistakes?

   Finding fault in others is easier than admitting our own mistakes. Faults we despise so much in others are the same faults we hate in ourselves. It is easier holding others accountable to high standards than ourselves. This is why we should proceed carefully when passing judgment. It is difficult to be objective and unbiased; easy to be hypocritical and find fault; and easy to ignore or overlook our own shortcomings. It is easier to be prejudiced and opinionated than fair and impartial. We often take out our weaknesses on others. How can we expect others to be more accountable than we expect ourselves? “Judge not lest ye be judged: admonishes the seriousness of judging others. Passing judgment is awesome and heavy responsibility. As parents we sometimes need to qualify our admonitions to our children, “do not do as I do, but do as I say do” We have extreme difficulty in holding them accountable to standards that we have had a hard time meeting ourselves.

   For every fault we find in others, we may have the same fault, or an equivalent and equally serious fault. “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone”, captures the essence of the prohibitions of judging others. Life does require us to make many judgments. We continuously evaluate the intent and motives of those with which we interact. It is easy to be critical, condemning, and prejudiced in our feelings and opinions. We should be very careful. When we are sitting in judgment, there may well be someone sitting in judgment of us. Proceed cautiously! It is so easy to make mistakes. It is good to be forgiving, giving the benefit of doubt and willing to grant second chances. Remember the Golden Rule. It is a good way to live.

 

Challenge:  Are you judgmental, biased, opinionated, or prejudiced? Does the word, hypocrite, sometimes apply to you? It is easy to be that way. Be very careful when you set in judgment. Try to judge others and treat them as you would want to be treated or judged. You reap what you sow and that which goes around comes around. Try to become more fair, kind, balanced and impartial. It will make you into a better person.  

Wisdom: It is much more ennobling to the human spirit to let people judge themselves than to judge them.  Stephen Covey

Spiritual: (NIV)

For of you forgive me when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. Matthew 6:14

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 1:7

The truth is that we are ill-equipped to pass judgment. It is extremely difficult for us to have our minds and hearts pure enough to be fair and impartial. We are impacted by biases, prejudices, weaknesses and shortcomings. God alone is equipped to be totally fair and impartial. That is why we have such strong warnings against the dangers of judging others. The Bible tells us we will be judged on the basis of how we judge others.

 

Prayer:  Thank you for “perfectly” setting in judgment of me. Thank you for pardoning and forgiving me!

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