Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Danger of Judgement

We are now entering the danger zone.

[insert siren sounds here]

"Do not judge, or you too will be judged." (Matthew 7:1) That is the key verse for today's lesson. And it is the key verse to kick off a week's long discussion of judgement.

The question to consider today asks me if there are any places in my life where I tend to become judgemental of others.

Hmmm...let me think about this a minute...BIG FAT YES!

-As a mother, I am quick to judge other mothers. I think I have mentioned this before, so I will keep it brief. If I see you struggling to take care of your child, I am most likely concocting a laundry list in my mind of things you are doing wrong and ways I would be doing it better. Problem is, I am not a perfect mother either. I have had PLENTY of instances where my child/children have acted out and where there were plenty of witnesses with front-row seats to my hasty tactics and poor decisions. Guess this is the proof in the pudding of "you too will be judged."

-I am not a clean freak by any means. I have friends whose houses are so sterile you could conduct minor surgical operations in them...that is not my house. But I am quick to notice a mess. (If there is any saving grace to this, I am also quick to forgive the mess!) I don't know why; I just can't help it. I am so attuned to noticing the messes that I wrongly believe everyone else does too. And so I will spend many an evening and well into the night making sure the dishes are done, the graham cracker trail that my son has left has been swept up, the crust from the highchair is removed, etc. fact, as soon as I finish writing this blog, I will be mopping my floors because it is Thursday, and Thursday night is "mopping night."
But here's the being so big about the messes is pretty darn hypocritical. Ask anyone who has lived with me in my childhood and they will tell you that I was a total slob! I remember my mom having to help me clean my room and it taking HOURS because we would have to fill 3 trash bags full of garbage from off of my floors before we could earn a place to put the other stuff that wasn't trash. When I was a teenager, I avoided doing the dishes for so long one time that maggots grew onto a skillet in the sink. True story! (DON"T YOU JUDGE ME!) I was not that much better when I moved in with my college roommates, either. Though I did not do as much damage in terms of creating messes, I still did not do my share when it came to keeping up the apartment. It was not until I started dating a boy that I decided I really wanted to be my husband when I figured I should start doing all those "womenly duties" to impress him. And since then, it is as if I clean in an effort to cover up the horrible mess-maker that I used to be. So yes, I am quick to judge as if I have never been there, but now you know that I have (which is likely what makes me so quick to forgive.)

-I am quick to judge military spouses who cheat on their husbands while they are deployed.
-I am quick to judge chatty women who only talk about other women.
-I am quick to judge people who turn everything into a complaint. If you are a chronic whiner, you don't get my listening ear...or my sympathy.
-I am quick to judge "name-droppers." For example, if you tell me that you live on Colonel row and take regular afternoon walks with Col Joe and his wife--you have been judged, lady.
-I am quick to judge people who have posted ANYTHING on the 'Col Joe Wants To Know' page. (Don't leave me hanging here. If you know what I'm talking about, then I know you do too!)

In all honesty, in your moment of weakness I am quick to judge you. And I think most other people are too. Why? Because in focusing on your weakness we are able to forget about all of ours, and thus, feel superior. This fuzzing feeling by no means makes the action right. It makes it even more wrong because we are pulling the wool over our own eyes.
And even as we all judge, we really all know that there is only one person who is perfect enough to be allowed to do so...and instead of condemning us, He died for us.

Time for me to start pulling the plank out of my own eye...

This could be a LONG week!

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