One of the most basic principles we have come to accept in our lives is that whenever we encounter a person whom could be considered immoral or immature, we have the right to judge them for it.
If we were to ask ourselves what gives us the right to look down on and speak poorly of these certain individuals, we would more than likely claim that as they choose to live such reprehensible lives and make such seemingly irrational decisions, they deserve the poor treatment we give them.
However, the problem with this line of thinking is that while it may feel good to talk down on people whom we feel are in the wrong, in reality, we are not doing anything beneficial for anyone.
We aren’t helping the people who need help by hurting them until they get better and we aren’t helping ourselves grow closer to God by choosing to hate others rather than love them as we are told to.
Judgment can be a powerful tool to help us improve our lives is so many ways yet without self-awareness, our ability to judge can be our greatest downfall.
Nobody’s Perfect, Not Even You
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
One of the biggest driving forces there is in the process of judging and scrutinizing others is a sense of inherent superiority.
Whenever we judge someone, what we are actually doing is comparing them to some sort of standard or model of what we believe to be proper and acceptable.
Though this might seem like a simple concept to understand, it quickly becomes more complicated once we understand how subjective this standard actually is.
For example, we might see a child drawing happily on a wall inside his room and while some of us might have the belief that a child should be able to decorate his room any way they want and leave the child alone, others might hold on to the belief that a child should never draw on walls under any circumstances and promptly make the child clean it up.
This line of thinking isn’t a bad thing and can in many ways be used to both better determine right from wrong in our everyday lives as well as grow closer to God and the people that he would have us to be.
Yet this line of thinking can become dangerous when instead of basing the standards that we hold ourselves and others accountable to on things like the bible or wisdom, we base our standards on ourselves.
When we make our personal beliefs and behaviors the standard by which we judge others, we become our ideals of perfection.
We become our own god.
Not only does that mean that we put ourselves in the place that we should reserve for God alone but it also means that in loving every part of ourselves without certainty or reason, we effectively love our own sin.
Loving our pride leads to a lifetime of regret.
Loving our knowledge leads to the downfall of ignorance.
Loving our lies makes us resistant to truth.
To love our own sin is to love our own death.
Therefore we must not make ourselves the standards of our lives and in fact, we must not even make other people the standards of our lives as well since to love every part of someone else means loving their sin as a consequence.
As every man, woman, and child that will ever walk this earth will inevitably sin, we ought not strive to follow in their footsteps.
Rather we ought to set our sights on the image of Jesus Christ as he is the only standard that can wash away all sin completely and truly stand the test of time.
Good Judgement Builds, Never Destroys
But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.
Judgment can serve us well only if it is grounded in truth.
As tempting as it may seem to simple base the reality of the world around the experiences we’ve had in our lives, what is actually true will never change just because we want it too.
We will make mistakes and we will make poor decisions and no matter how badly we may try to convince ourselves that we did the right thing or acted the right way, a fact of life is that our good decisions always improve who we are as individuals and bad decisions always bring us down.
7 Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. 8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.
When we choose to be patient and kind, our relationships improve.
When we choose to be explosive and manipulative, our relationships fall apart.
When we choose to be honest and hardworking, our jobs get more rewarding.
When we choose to be entitled and annoyed, our jobs become our prisons.
When we choose to love and understand, our children live joyfully.
When we choose to ignore and dictate, our children live in resentment.
Even though the way we live and think may seem good in our own eyes, the consequences that they create in the person that we become does not lie.
If we find ourselves with more enemies than friends then it is more likely that we ourselves are at fault rather than everyone else.
Having good judgment means to take responsibility for the choices we make in our lives by basing both what we do and who we are in the truth and righteousness of God rather than in fickleness and feebleness of our emotions.
When we strive to be a people who demonstrate judgment based on truth and wisdom rather than ignorance and foolishness, we will see the goodness in our lives grow as the evil and doubt we keep hidden within ourselves fade into nothingness.
In a mind that favors love and peace over hatred and adversity, the voice of God is heard above all others.
It’s Not Worth Your Peace
Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.
Just as we harshly condemn those who do wrong before us, we too will be judged with the same cruelty and severity if not by others then by God himself.
There is no need to cause suffering only to gain more suffering.
In a world where it is just and acceptable to exchange wrong for wrong and return evil for evil, there is no peace only violence and hardship.
One of the greatest truths there is to discover about life is that there are quite simply some circumstances in life that we are better off not feeling offended by.
There will always be co-workers that get on our nerves but so long as they don’t stop us from being able to work, we would be much happier if we sim focused on what we need to do and leave the attitudes of others to our managers and supervisors.
There will always be drivers that don’t care about other people yet so long as we ourselves focus on being safe and patient on the road, every commute we have will be peaceful and worry-free.
There will always be kids who don’t care about how obnoxious or disruptive they are in public yet so long as we maintain the ability to walk away or just ignore it, there is no reason for us to become aggravated by it.
The reality of life is that the people who live it will never be perfect yet the greater lesson beyond this is that while people will always do things that we don’t like, in the end, we will always have the ability to be the bigger person.
A vast majority of the frustrating situations and circumstances that you or I will ever encounter are things that we simply can not control.
Rather than get hung up and that and become bitter because of it, we should instead focus on the part of every situation we can control, ourselves.
Rather than surrender our peace of mind and serenity to every circumstance that comes our way by judging others only to be judged just as harshly ourselves, we should instead simply focus on being the type of people who can handle any situation no matter how upsetting it may be with honor and dignity.
As God lives through you, no person or situation you will ever encounter in your life is powerful enough to take your joy and happiness away from you.
The only power those things have over you is the power you give them.
In God you are unbreakable and your joy and tranquility are everlasting, live in that truth and find true contentment.
Forgiveness Always Wins
For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.
If anyone of us were guilty of a crime, it is far more likely that we would be happier with mercy and forgiveness rather than punishment and suffering.
Just as we ourselves would feel that way in a given circumstance, we should understand how other people would want the same thing.
If we are to treat people as we would like to be treated then we should forgive others as we would want them to forgive us.
Yet the conflict that arises within us is the feeling that other people should suffer for the wrongs they have done because they deserve to suffer not just for the misdeeds they have committed but for the people they are.
We feel as though some people in this world are truly guilty and beyond hope of forgiveness and retribution and the strange thing about that feeling is that it is absolutely correct.
Crime does deserve punishment and evil does deserve retribution.
Yet even though people may deserve the worst in life, that doesn’t mean we have to give it to them.
We are all guilty of sin and we all deserve to suffer for it yet through the grace and mercy of God in the sacrifice of Jesus we can dare to live our lives peacefully and righteously in spite of getting we all actually deserve.
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
We all deserve the worst yet in Jesus Christ we are given the best.
Though there are moments in our lives we would be justified in giving people what they deserve, that doesn’t mean that we have to do so all the time.
Just a God offers us one chance after another to redeem ourselves and be with him despite our sinful nature, we too should offer others chance after chance and opportunity after opportunity to do better things and be better people.
Even though that might seem like an impossible thing to ask for concerning one or two specific people we may have in our lives, grace and mercy always make life better for everyone and for that reason we should struggle to love and forgive rather than relish in suffering and bitterness.
Judgment is a good thing but only if we choose to use it for good reasons.
Therefore let us judge with grace, honor, and mercy so that when the time comes, we will be judged the exact same way.
As always, Thanks for Reading!
New Post this coming Sunday Evening, hope to see you there!