August 24, 2008

A Different Kind of Judgment

A lot of people struggle with judging others, deciding whether or not it is the right thing to do or if it depends on the situation and circumstances. It seems that a lot of Christians are confused by this whole passing judgment thing and often times are too quick to do so. I think there are definitely times when we have a responsibility to other brothers and sisters in Christ to make them aware of things in their life that may be in conflict with the way Christ calls us to live.

The more I've been thinking about this the more I've started wondering if maybe we're missing the things we should be passing judgment on. I don't think it is anyone's place to judge the state or eternal destination of someone's soul but maybe instead we should be "judging" when someone is hurting or lonely and instead of responding by passing judgment, responding with and because of, the love of Christ. I wonder how much hurt could be avoided in people's lives if we "judged" with an attitude of service and love as opposed to an attitude of arrogance.


alison said...

yes, exactly. GOD IS LOVE. so, why not love everyone? i know i lean towards the free spirit, hippy mindset on this one, but really...loving everyone has got to be a lot more fun than judging anyone is. it's hard to believe that anyone actually takes pleasure in it. And what good does it do anyway? Treating someone negatively because you don't agree with things they believe, how they live their lives, etc. is going to push them away from Christ. It's funny, then, that some people who are "radically" judgmental have no problem calling themselves evangelists (thus giving evangelists a bad name).
all that said, i realize that i'm leaving some people out and not quite loving everyone. it's hard for me to love people who are extremists in their religion, people who discriminate or are racist/ethnocentric, people who pass judgments on others without getting to know them. so...maybe i'm a bit of a hypocrite. after talking to a co-worker with whom i have become friends, and learning (i was quite surprised) that he is racist, i'm beginning to understand things a little better...i think. it's hard to love someone when they do something that is radically different from what you believe. but as Christians, like you said, this is what we're called to do. it shouldn't be just an obligation; i should WANT to love people despite the not-very-intelligent (in my opinion) things they do. it's almost like higher standards are set for us, as Christians (or maybe for people of faith in general), because of the knowledge we have. Yes, there are ignorant people out there who call themselves Christians, and yes, sometimes it seems like there are a lot of them (because unfortunately the bad stuff gets on the news much more than the good), but we're all flawed and we all make mistakes. LOVE EVERYONE. if everyone strived for that, the world would be pretty sweet.

okay, done rambling. =)

Matt said...

alison: thanks so much for the read and the willingness to share your thoughts. i think you bring up an interesting point of people who may be "radically judgmental" while at the same time calling themselves "evangelists". i wonder if that is sort of an oxymoron.

i also think you make a good point reminding us that we all have been or are hypocrites in one way or another at some point. not an easy thing to be reminded of yet important nonetheless.