She’s the fat woman at the store who looks like she hasn’t changed her clothes in days, and smells like old sweat and an unwashed body.
He’s the old man who leers unabashedly until I want to throw my purse at him and run.
She’s the teenager at church who thoughtlessly and loudly proclaims her opinion about anyone and everything.
He’s the smart aleck on Facebook who calls anyone who doesn’t agree with him “white trash” and “haters.”
You know them, don’t you?
I see them every week, sometimes every day. I’ve been asking myself: Who are these people? Is she fat? Is he dirty? Is she loud? Is he foolish? In my broken eyes, yes. By my judgement, they’re less worthy than me. Sounds bad, but it’s true, isn’t it? I’m not fat and unwashed. I don’t leer. I’m not thoughtless. I don’t call people names for disagreeing with me. I’m doing pretty good, really.
If you’re a fallen human, you’ve done this too. You’ve also experienced what happens next, although you may not have realized the connection. I’ve only recently discovered it.
We were not created to judge our fellow man. Amazing how hard it is to reshape our lives around that truth.
Ted Dekker writes in The Creative Way Meditations, “It is not your role, in heart or mind, to condemn others any more than it is your role to condemn yourself.”
It’s not that we don’t all need judging. It just isn’t our role. When we step out of our role and judge others, the next person we condemn is ourselves. This is one of the many consequences of judgement. As fallible humans, when we judge others, we cannot avoid judging ourselves.
Foolish people that we are, we eagerly point out the flaws in others while merrily ignoring the fact that our judgement is a hungry, twisted beast that will consume every part of our lives.
Best to face that fact so we can do something to keep the beast caged.
If judgement is a lion, we are not lion tamers. Our lions will break free, devour everyone in the circus tent, and then turn on us. Or it may devour us first, depending on our self-esteem.
Just like the consequences of judgement are many, so the rewards of releasing judgement are bountiful.
“Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.” Luke 6:36-38
Most days, I would not want my judgement and measure of grace given back to me. But with God’s help, I hope to grow in this area and take more steps toward freedom.
Will you join me in leaving the judgement to God? Together we can be light in the darkness, standing for truth but leaving judgement to the only Perfect Judge.
How have you experienced judgement in your life? Have you been on the bad side of judgement? Comment below.
“Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me.” Matthew 25:40
“Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward them for what they have done.” Proverbs 19:17