THE MATTER OF JUDGING Sept 19, 2007 4:03:41 GMT -5
Post by tomdurst on Sept 19, 2007 4:03:41 GMT -5
THE MATTER OF JUDGING
by Thomas E. Durst
by Thomas E. Durst
But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." 1 Samuel 16:7 (NIV)
“Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged." Matthew 7:1-2 (NLT)
We are admonished not to judge others on the basis of outward appearances because it is absolutely impossible for us to understand or even know all of the ramifications and complexities concerning another's actions. We make up our "stories" based upon our perception of what is said and done by others but we must remember that these are OUR STORIES and nothing more. We shouldn't accept our stories as being absolutely true because they are not. Most of the time our egos and our stories are inextricably joined.
Some of us have had to deal with such matters as alcohol or drug addiction or suicide in our immediate family or with a close friend. We are greatly impacted for sure but I think that asking "WHY is this person suffering from this addiction or WHY did he/she commit suicide?" is not the way to go. Such behaviors are so complex that often the person directly involved doesn't know the reasons. The psychotherapists as well as religious professionals who have a lot of training in human behavior can only speculate based upon the total profile of a person they have tried to help. But in the end we have only our stories, our interpretations, as to just WHY the behavior has occurred. It is counter-productive and often harmful to ourselves as well as others to engage in speculation about something we simply are not qualified to judge.
In the truest sense of the word there is a spark of good within each person, although many times it is deeply buried. The Quakers used to say, "There is a little bit of God in everyone." Although it may be very difficult at times I try to look past the outward behavior and find the good and whenever possible build upon it. If the person is not within my reach to help or has passed away then I seek to focus my thinking about the good that could be found or was in that person when he/she was still living.
Life is full of challenges and none of us ever do anything perfectly. As one preacher said, "We are not what we could be, should be, or would be." This is another reason to exercise caution in judging others (See Matthew 7:1-5).
This matter of judging others is a HUGE issue that we need to think about at a much deeper level than we normally do. We need to carefully consider the harm we bring to ourselves and others when we engage in judging and letting our stories rule our lives.
I invite you to read A SIMPLE GUIDE FOR LIVING which is on the link below:
A SIMPLE GUIDE FOR LIVING