Judging other people – Everyone is guilty of it as some point or another. Many times it happens in small subconscious ways where we find ourselves judging someone without even realizing it. Many times judgments are made based on a person’s appearance, an outfit, a car they drive, the job they do, or the house they live in. There are countless external factors that people use to pass judgment about other people. In addition to those there are often judgments made when someone is seen to be in a hurry, or a bad mood, or when they are simply quiet. The problem with judging a person is that in order to do so fairly we would have to have all of the facts. And without having an entire picture, it is impossible for us to make a fair assessment about them. We have to remember that so often there is additional evidence of things that we are not privy to which would need to be taken into account to give us the full picture of another person. For example, the person who rushes past us could be rushing to get to a hurt child or loved one? And perhaps the person who is quiet has just lost someone from their life and to speak would cause them to cry so they choose to stay quiet for a time?
But what about situations where a person is abusive or mean or hurtful? Don’t we have to judge a person in that regard for our own protection or the protection of someone we love? That is a question that I think many of us have asked and many of us have struggled with answering. Especially if we were raised to value Christlike behavior and a belief in forgiving others. I have spent many years researching that question and trying to come to an understanding of the right way to handle it, so that I could determine how to deal with abusive or unkind people that have been in my own life. After much study I came to what I believe to be the right way to handle situations like this: The right thing to do is to focus our attention on judging situations rather than people. We can (and should) assess when a situation is unhealthy for us and should be avoided in our future, without judging the person that caused it to become unhealthy. The end result is that you avoid being around that person, but you do so without judging them; you are only judging that the situation isn’t good or right for you. Thus you were able to make a judgment without judging an individual. Then we can leave the judging of the person to God himself as we can trust that He has all the knowledge and facts to do so fairly. The burden of judging another person is removed from our shoulders and we can be at peace knowing that a fair God will be in charge of the judging, of both the other person and of us.
With the days before Christmas growing shorter and the list of gift to buy and parties to attend growing longer, I wish all of you a wonderful weekend of getting things done!