|Spirituality For Life|
Judging others comes naturally and insidiously! Yet it is harmful and destructive. Here’s why . . .
In the Sacred Word, Jesus states:
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 to you (Luke 6:37-38, NIV; emphasis mine).
In these words, Jesus did not deny the need for discerning right and wrong. However, he condemned the unjust judging of others.
When I judge someone – for example, in thinking “he or she is a no-hoper” – I am projecting my thoughts on to them. It is my projection. Since I am projecting the thought that the person is a good-for-nothing, is it not a reflection of my own deep state of mind? Deep inside, I have judged myself to be a no-hoper, believing that I am such! And so, in judging someone else, I am in reality judging myself!
Furthermore, in judging another – such as “he or she is a failure” – I am believing the worst. This is contrary to love. Love “always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres” (1 Corinthians 13:7, NIV). Judgment, therefore, closes our hearts to love. Love without judging is what Jesus taught.
Judging is hurtful and damaging for other reasons:
First, when I judge someone as a ne’er-do-well, pride is involved – I feel arrogant and superior. The Sacred Word shows that “the LORD detests all the proud of heart” (Proverbs 16:5, NIV). Also, “there are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, . . .” (Proverbs 6:16-17, NIV).
Second, in judging a person to be a sad case, they will sense my negative judgment (from the thoughts that I project). This will only cause them to respond negatively toward me.
Third, in judging or pronouncing someone as a washout, I am acting most presumptuously! I simply do not have all the facts about the person. I cannot possibly see them as their God sees them. In judging another I am acting as God! But, Scripture states: “There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you – who are you to judge your neighbor?” (James 4:12, NIV).
The words, “Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned” operate in the same way. If I condemn someone, it is my projection. What I am condemning, applies to me! It is something deep within that I cannot tolerate. The condemnation, then, is for me. And so, in condemning someone else, I am in reality condemning myself.
The words, “Forgive, and you will be forgiven” function in a similar manner. If I feel that I cannot forgive a person and therefore don’t want to forgive them, is it because deep inside of me I don’t think or believe that I have been truly forgiven – either by God or myself? Again, therefore, I am projecting my unforgiveness onto the other person – and I remain unforgiven!
Finally, the words “Give, and it will be given to you” also show the power of the projection of our thoughts. If I don’t give as I ought, it is because I believe that there is not enough. This lack is all I see and perceive. Again, it is my projection. Therefore, indeed, there will not be enough for me!
In closing, how vital it is to learn to love others and ourselves unconditionally with judgment or self-judgement. Judgment will always close our hearts to the presence of love!
© Alexander Peck, 2011
Photo credit: Intellimon Ltd.