Drowning In Our Own Judgment

Nathan Smith Christian Maturity, Life Skills

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‘She’s so full of herself.’ ‘All they think about is money.’ ‘He’s just saying sorry so he doesn’t look bad.’  For all the technological breakthroughs we’ve witnessed in the last 20 years, perhaps the thing the human race has advanced in the most is judgment.  With the rise in faceless communication, social media and endless op-eds people have become more and more comfortable criticizing and judging the intents and motives of others at will.  Perhaps it has always been this way but it is certainly more apparent now than ever.  The more commonplace it is, the more numb we become to its effects.  When we judge someone we either unfairly diminish or overly inflate their value.  Having moved them out of the realm of actual reality they now must meet the unrealistic standards we have predefined for them which gives them no chance at all to be themselves or simply offer what they have to offer.  Judgment certainly hurts other people.  The greatest challenge, however, is not what our judgment does to them, it is what it does to us. (Click Here To Read My Post ‘Confessions of a Recovering Idealist’)

Judging someone limits our ability to receive from them.  They don’t do it ‘right’ so they now have no real value in our eyes. While we might think we are limiting that person with our judgment, we have actually limited ourselves.  We are unable to learn from someone we have judged to be ‘stupid’ therefore we exempt ourselves from all that could have been received from them.  We are unable to receive love from someone we have judged to be ‘hateful’ therefore we become more isolated and lonely.  In each of these circumstances we blame the other person for our loss.  The irony is that we are the ones who locked ourselves in our prisons by determining that everyone else was unworthy of our presence or attention.  Judging limits our capacity.  It sucks the air out of the room and leaves us gasping, looking for a way to breathe. We think we are teaching someone else a lesson but the truth is that we are the ones drowning in our own judgment.  As bad as that is, there is yet an even deeper pit of despair than judging others that we must recognize before we can move forward and that is judging ourselves. (Click Here To Read My Post ‘I Hate You’)

Why You Even Judge’n?

Judging ourselves is infinitely more limiting than judging others.  Passing judgment on ourselves that we are ‘a screw up’ or are ‘unloveable’ assures us that no one will ever be able to convince us otherwise.  We will look for love and approval, wanting someone to convince us that we are not what we have decided we are but no matter how hard they try or how much we reach, ultimately, we will find enough evidence to prove what we have already judged to be true about ourselves.  Once we’ve judged our ability to succeed or our potential to be enjoyable, beautiful or pure we limit our ability to push through challenges or receive encouragement that anything else could be true.  Judging truly is the greatest way you can limit yourself in life.  So why do we do it and how do we stop?

Truth be known, there really is only one form of judgment in the world.  It is the root issue, the central power source of the emptiness of judgment.  Address it and the others disappear. The greatest wickedness is not judging others or ourselves… it is judging God.  All judgment we level against someone we know, a situation we are in or something about ourselves is ultimately a judgment against God.  We look at someone and say “God, you made a mistake with this person.  They are beyond repair and deserve to be given up on.”  Or we say “God, you didn’t give me what it takes to succeed.  Other people have great value but I missed out and it’s your fault.” Maybe we have never used those words.  I would simply suggest that our actions speak louder than our words.  Calling something ‘bad’ that God says is ‘good’ or is ‘under construction’ is the same as telling Him He doesn’t know what He is talking about and that He should listen to our superior wisdom.  Judging God to be a liar, unfair or uninformed is really the only sin there is in this world.  It is what Adam and Eve determined in the Garden and it is what we struggle with every day of our lives.  (Click Here To Read My Post ‘Adam, Eve & the Internet’)

Where Do We Go From Here?

Judgment belongs to God because He is the only one who is righteous and holy enough to know when something is truly good, bad, under construction or in full bloom. That is why the only tree unavailable to man in the Garden of Eden was the ‘tree of knowledge of good and evil’.  We can’t handle that kind of truth because we are not fully holy or righteous.  He alone knows what is truly good and what is truly evil.  Leave judgment in God’s hands.   Love your neighbor.  Bear with their weaknesses.  They are bearing with yours.  Be patient with them in the same way that God is being patient with you.  Stop passing judgment on yourself.  You belong to God and He doesn’t appreciate you talking about His child the way you talk about yourself.  Every time you judge Him, yourself or someone else you only stifle yourself.  Step out of the prison of judgment, give up your throne and give it to the King who has what it takes to rule with justice and mercy.  You’ll be amazed at how much more capacity you’ll have to give and receive love, encouragement and contentment when you do. (Click Here To Read My Post ‘Making A Deal With The Devil’)

From the Bible

Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. – Luke 6:37 NIV 

Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand. – Romans 14:4 NIV 

A person may think their own ways are right, but the Lord weighs the heart. – Provers 21:2 NIV

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