Judgment

Greek StatueA 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 as fallible as us be allowed to sit in judgment of someone else?

 The process of judgment is taken too lightly. It is a most serious calling. Judgment is a big part of our culture. There have been many TV shows and movies about court room dramas. There is much that goes on in our justice system. Innocent people do get wrongly convicted and even executed. We expect judgment to be infallible. It is far from perfect. Those who judge are human, fallible and make mistakes?

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

   For every fault we find in others, we may have the same fault, or an equally serious fault. “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone”, captures the essence of the prohibitions of judging others. Life requires us to make many judgments. We continuously evaluate the intent and motives of those around us. It is easy to be critical, condemning, and prejudiced in our feelings and opinions. We are on a slippery slope. When we sit in judgment, there may well be someone sitting in judgment of us. Proceed cautiously! It is too easy to make mistakes. It is very good to be forgiving, giving the benefit of doubt and be all about granting second chances. Remember the Golden Rule. It is such a good rule.

Challenge:  Are you judgmental, biased, opinionated, or prejudiced? Does the word, hypocrite, sometimes apply to you? It is far too easy to be guilty. 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 will reap what you sow and that which goes around comes around. Try to become more fair, kind, balanced and impartial. It will definitely 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 if 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 we are ill-equipped to pass judgment. It is extremely difficult, if not impossible, 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 fair and impartial. That is why we have such strong warnings against the dangers of sitting in judgment. 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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