“Love, Not Judgment”

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged.  For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged.” (Mt.7:1-2) 

Frightening!  Jesus  goes on to ask why we look for the speck in another’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in our own.  He says, “You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” (Mt. 7:5)

After receiving communion on Easter Sunday a few years ago, the words, “Love, not judgement,” came into my mind.  I was thanking God for his suffering, death and resurrection for us, and the blessings that my family and I have experienced as a result. 

In reflecting on these words at the time, I was quite aware that I have struggled with the sin of being judgmental for most of my life.  How often have I been quick to analyze someone’s circumstance without knowing all the facts and coming to a judgment? 

Upon further reflection, I asked myself and the Lord what I should do to counter this tendency.   “When you see a person, whether a stranger, acquaintance, close family or friend, your first thought should be, ‘how can I love this person.’”  Perhaps there is a need for encouragement and affirmation.  Sometimes there may be a need for prayer; perhaps, just a need to listen.  Being judgmental derives from the sin of pride, of which I have an ample supply. 

In my work as an attorney for an oil company one of my early assignments included representing our marketing department and the various managers of that department for a particular region of the country.  I was told to watch out for a certain District Manager who had a reputation for ignoring some of the legal requirements of our business and was generally very difficult to deal with.

I was subsequently invited to attend a marketing managers’ meeting where I sought out this manager and spent some time with him.  We played some tennis during an afternoon break and I got to hear about how he viewed the challenges of his job, about his family and interests in life.  It appeared to me he didn’t deserve the reputation that was following him.  I never had any problems with this manager, nor did we ever have any legal problems coming out of the sales district he oversaw.  Fortunately, I withheld judgment, as the need for critical judgment was not apparent.

The obvious lesson from this incident is not to make a judgment until you know the facts.  But an even better approach when we encounter people is to ask ourselves:

How can I love this person here and now?

6 thoughts on ““Love, Not Judgment”

  1. youngdave7

    Great post as always Bill. When I started my current role as part of a team support a federal agency, I was told by several that my new client was difficult. This included my supervisor, other consultants who supported him previously including one who is working under me, and others on our team. All I seemed to hear was negative specifics about how hard he was to work with for many weeks. I wondered whether I was being set up for failure but considered that God put me in this role for a reason. I sought to build a trust relationship and did not get discouraged by a few rough incidents. I sought to know more about him as a person and connect with him on that level. After six months, I believe we have a great trust relationship, he supports most of my thought leadership ideas, and we experience little conflict. This underscores the power of prayer and avoiding judgement of others and myself as you wrote here. Great confirmation and encouragement to apply this everywhere!

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  2. Paul S Rose

    There’re emanations involved here. Seek justice, judge me now please, immediately, maybe, and with unspeakably generous amounts of Divine Mercy submit me to the appointed authorities and governing bodies of God, very possibly apportioned by God since before the pillars of the foundations of the universe.

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