This was an uncomfortable realization that occurred recently when I I felt attacked, judged and misunderstood as I posted some of my Spiritual beliefs on my personal Facebook page. I was upset at how my friends could be so mean and so judgmental! How could they be so haughty and small minded? What is wrong with people?! Then I felt the spiritual tap on my shoulder, looked around in the mirror and realized what I was doing in return. Sigh. I shook my head at myself... suddenly humbled at the knowledge I was no better than they.
I confess this because... I believe it is one of my main stumbling blocks to Peace. I've made some small progress in this area, but I have much more work to do before I can leave the painful consequences of judgemental-ism behind. I'm working on it... but it's such a hard habit to let go!
I've come to realize how we judge others often has more to do about ourselves and our fears than anything else. Judging in many ways is one of the primary sources of self inflicted pain & isolation! Because no one, except Christ Himself, is without sin... so we should have the utmost empathy and compassion when our brother or sister struggles! This should unite us as children of God, and yet it causes division even amongst believers! Why, oh why do we do it to others... and why does it hurt so much when they do it to us?!
I know, I know...I hear the Fundamentalist voice of objection! "Self-righteous judgement is 'our job' as Christians! We are judging first to help others not be led astray! Our judgements are our warnings! We judge because we love! We know our understanding of God is the right one... 100% Biblically correct... and to think otherwise (insert judgmental tone) is just wrong!" Really? Or are we just justifying our own sin... just as we accuse others of doing the same?
If only I could always remember in the moment of feeling judged that no sin is greater or lesser than any other. I would see my brother or sister as my equal and look at them through God's loving eyes. I would realize others judgement is nothing personal... it's fear in their hearts. And the best way to combat fear is with Love.
Let God be God and have Him do the judging! For only God can convict with absolute Knowledge and Truth! We can care! We can share our own concerns for others... but we are called to do so without condemnation, hypocrisy or arrogance! Love is patient, love is kind... being judgmental is neither of those. The next time I feel judged, God asks me... pleads with me... and encourages me NOT to judge back... but to Love as He loves me!