"Don't judge me."
I need to draw a distinction between "judgement" and "condemnation". When pop culture says, "Don't judge me," what we MEAN is, "don't condemn me for doing/being/saying this". Which is actually completely correct, and also a totally natural pendulum swing from the ultra-condemning culture that existed years before.
Judge: to form an opinion or conclusion about.
Condemn: express complete disapproval of, typically in public; censure.
It's actually totally healthy to form judgments. It's called discernment. It keeps you safe, shapes wise decision making, and allows healthy emotional and mental living. So, discerning, yes. Condemning, no.
It is never, ever our job to condemn. Ever. Not your job. Never will be. It is your job to form opinions and conclusions so you can make healthy choices FOR YOU, and stop there before crossing over into, "That person is terrible."
Choose the person you would like to represent you as a leader:
Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; (Luke 6:37)
So back to the judging. A mature person is slow to judge; taking time to observe before drawing conclusions. Here's a really extreme example to illustrate this importance.
Candidate A - Associates with crooked politicians and consults with astrologists. He's had two Mistresses. He also chain smokes, and drinks 8 to 10 martinis a day.
Candidate B - He was kicked out of office twice, sleeps until noon, used opium in college, and drinks a quart of whiskey every evening.
Candidate C - He is a decorated war hero. He's a vegetarian, doesn't smoke, drinks an occasional beer, and never cheated on his wife.
Candidate A - Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Candidate B - Winston Churchill.
Candidate C - Adolph Hitler.
Over the top, but paints the picture, right?
Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. (Matthew 7:1-29)
I'm so guilty of judging AND condemning quickly. Sometimes my intuition is spot on. Sometimes I'm way off. I am learning to wait. Let my snap judgement sit on a shelf for a bit; let it show itself true or not. Because sooner or later it will. Guaranteed.
The reveal may not be on your time line. We might have to wait. For years maybe, but that's a maturity trait for another blog.
A mature person is not afraid to patiently form a conclusion. For the most part if you're being forced to make a judgement quickly then whoever is rushing you has something to gain from not letting you take your time. (*ahem car salesmen ahem*)
So if you're the one rushing yourself - GOOD NEWS! You can STOP rushing yourself! Next time you notice yourself rushing to form a conclusion; pause. Why the rush? Seriously, ask yourself why. Take a breath and shelf your conclusion. Allow that person or situation to reveal its true self before reacting. (This is another place where the practice of noticing your thought actions comes in handy. Enter: Joy Guiding.)
My favorite part about the next verse is "quick to hear". The word used isn't "listen" but "hear". Because hearing entails understanding. Let me be quick to HEAR people so I can UNDERSTAND before I judge. (And never condemn.)
Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. (James 1:19-20)
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