It happens. We all do it. I could give you a million examples in my own life when it has happened to me. You know what I am talking about. We judge. We make determinations based on past experiences that could be right, but very well could be wrong about others. We point fingers. We issue warnings. We dish out punishment without even a thought to what we are doing. We give people “judgmental jabs.”
Matthew 7:2-3 For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. “Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?
If Matthew is right, then I am in big trouble. I cannot tell you how many times I have judged others insufficiently, without righteousness, and unjustly. I have made quick assumptions which led to quick reactions. Let me tell you, those reactions have led to a lot of guilty feelings later.
Just yesterday in my blog, I told you about how I felt insecure in my own shoes. Because of that insecurity, I judged another person to be “more holy” than I was. I made that person a god in my mind. I idolized her. I was prideful of her appearance. Yet, I never considered what I was doing by being judgmental, but it clearly was just that.
I made determinations based upon my own ideas, not the truth, not with prayer and certainly not with any thought of how I might hurt others.
This happens all the time with my daughter, Katie. Katie has experienced more judgment in her 8 years here on earth than I ever will. Because of these assumptions that others make, Katie has low self-esteem and suffers from intense anxiety. You see, Katie suffers from a seizure disorder. She has what are called partial seizures which go unnoticed 90% of the time. They are quick, second long, seizures that erase her memory for that moment in time. She can have several in a row which can lead to learning issues. We have thankfully found medication to stop the seizures, but unfortunately the medicine causes behavioral issues. I am not talking about a few issues here. I am talking about issues that cause her so much anxiety that she cannot calm herself or stop reliving a situation over and over again in her head. Even a small little action from an adult like trying to redirect her can cause her to lash out with her words or actions. That reaction usually startles people. It takes them aback. It stirs emotion in them, so that they make judgments quickly and try to resolve the “problem.”
I always pray before we go out in public that her anxiety will be calmed and she will feel peace. I pray for the adults that she will be around. I pray that they will practice patience with Katie and not be judgmental of her actions or words.
It is hard enough for adults to experience humiliating situations. Imagine learning humility at the young age of 8. It is a hard lesson to learn. It requires intense strength. It mandates prayer.
Judgmental attitudes can hurt others so deeply; more deeply than we will ever know. It can take days, weeks and months for Katie to get over judgments placed upon her. Heck, it can take me days, weeks and months to get over it. Before you place your judgment upon others, think about it, pray about it, and hold your words back. Remember that you will be judged based on the judgments you give others. That is clearly what it says in Matthew 7:2. Think of Katie and the hurt that has been inflicted on her life in 8 years before you judge. Step back and evaluate how your judgment may affect the lives of others, and how it may affect the guilt that bubbles up in your own life.