Let me ask you a question. Have you ever been judged for something you did or said by someone who didn’t even know you or who didn’t know the full story? Maybe something was taken out of context or it was something that happened on a particularly bad day when you were extra frazzled, frustrated, or faced with a distressing situation that left you acting and reacting unlike your usual self. Regardless of the particulars, it never feels good to be the recipient of unfair judgment.
Now, let me ask you this: Have you ever experienced life from the flipside of that coin? Acting as judge and jury rather than the defendant? If being truly honest, who among us could actually answer in the negative? I, for one, could not. I have been guilty of casting judgment many times over, suffering from temporary memory lapses during which I either completely forgot my own mistakes or recalled the lessons learned from them in such a way that I deemed myself an expert in someone else’s life.
Naturally, I am no such thing. And, in fact, I sometimes question my adeptness for directing the intricacies of my own life. In which case, how can I, as this admittedly flawed and fumbling human, feel any compulsion whatsoever to throw stones of any size at an equally flawed and fumbling human? How can any of us?
Unfortunately, the way of our world in recent years has made judging each other even easier. Although I know comparison was already alive and thriving when I was a kid—I clearly remember numerous instances when my looks, clothes, development, and abilities were held up against those of my peers—at least back then our shortcomings and failures were only exposed to a small subset of people. Now, not only can we be shamed by complete strangers on worldwide platforms, but we are also subjected to the rosiest glimpses into other’s lives from which can judge ourselves more harshly.
But I wonder what would happen, if we, as Purposeful WIPs, jettisoned those judgments? Can you imagine the freedom that would follow on the heels of our choosing not to hang onto other people’s opinions of us? Can you imagine the lightness that we would experience if we decided to no longer burden our already overtaxed and overwhelmed minds with useless judgments regarding others’ choices and appearances and supposed missteps? Imagine the personal growth and progress we would see if we weren’t so concerned with what others might think or weren’t so caught up in wasting our precious time and energy worrying about what everybody else is doing? How high would we fly?
How big would we dream? How much would we love and appreciate the goodness in ourselves and each other if only we left the arbitrating up to the Divine Judge Himself? Let us forgo the judgments and instead reach for those great heights of compassion, acceptance, and grace.