Bernie Madoff swindled people in a Ponzi scheme. YOU WOULD NEVER DO THAT! But you are still intentionally dodging the person whom you owe $100. A young man slapped his mother in the face. YOU WOULD NEVER DO THAT! But you will slap your daughter’s mother in the face. Your girlfriend got back with her ex. YOU WOULD NEVER DO THAT! But you will hang on to a man that you know is cheating on you with multiple women. It is very easy for people to judge the situations and circumstances of others. We enjoy being able to say “I would never do that” because there are, in fact, so many other things that we would do (and have done).
People often say, “The Bible says not to judge.” (Matthew 7:1) No it does not. It says don’t judge UNLESS you are prepared to be judged in the same manner. We can judge people and most of us do. This article is judging judgmental people. Is it not? Yes. We judge people because it makes us feel a little better about our own baggage and flaws. Somehow, passing judgement on others emotionally validates our own choices. However, if we tend to judge others we should be fully aware that we are being judged as well. It’s a circle of judgement.
Here’s an example of three friends:
Single woman: “Can you believe she divorced him? I would never get married just to be divorced.”
Married woman: “When is she going to settle down? I would never want to be all alone like her.”
Divorced woman: “How low is her self-esteem? I would never stay in an unhappy marriage.”
When you are judging someone else, be sure to consider what areas of your life people may be judging of you. It can be comforting to pass judgement on the next person while ignoring our own situation. But, that comfort will soon pass and you will need to deal with whatever it is inside of you that causes you to look outward for validation of your choices. Most of the time judgement comes because we don’t share the same vantage point
– like the three women in the example above. You may be a little less judgmental and more understanding if you put yourself in the position of the other person. The more we try to see things from another point of view, the more we realize that life itself is not easy to navigate, especially when faced with challenges. This helps us relate to others with more kindness and acceptance.
Each of us is uniquely made with different personalities, temperaments and environmental exposures. Two different people in identical situations may still make completely different choices. Respecting the choices of others is liberating and also makes us more confident with our own choices. When we don’t judge others, we tend to be much better with ourselves. You can judge other people if you want, but it will only slow your growth and limit your understanding of how to live your own life
So the next time someone warns, “The Bible says not to judge” First, correct them and tell them it does not say that. Next, tell them that you aren’t judging, you are simply trying to avoid dealing with the plank in your own eye.