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Amazing Possibilities!

  • Writer's pictureMatthew Kelly

Judging Others

There are times when Jesus is abundantly clear, and times when it requires more effort to really understand what He is trying to share with us. Today’s teaching has abundance of clarity.

Today’s difficult teaching is…

“Do not judge.” This is from Matthew’s Gospel, chapter 7, verse 1.

One way to go back and meditate on each of these difficult teachings would be to ponder the question: When I reject this teaching through my thoughts, words, and actions, what does that say about me?

Judging others is the teaching we are exploring today. When we judge others, what does that say about us?

The first thing is says is that we are lazy, because judging is a short cut. It requires very little thinking, and it requires almost no emotional intelligence.

Our brains are wired to make quick judgements so that we can move through this world and not get crippled by every situation that captures our attention. But people are not situations, and they are not things. Each person is mind-bogglingly unique if we pause long enough to experience that person.

When you believe someone has judged you and misjudged you, you feel misunderstood. You have been misunderstood because the person didn’t take the time to understand you. The laziness of judgement requires little critical thinking, no emotional intelligence, and is almost entirely self-centered. Judging is about us, not the other person. Through the act of judging, we place ourselves at the center of the universe and set up a hierarchy of superior or inferior, better or worse, and more than or less than.

Earl Nightingale observed, “When you judge others, you do not define them, you define yourself.”

Jesus wants us to go beyond the laziness and injustice of judgement to see and experience the whole person. He wants us to access our capacity for empathy, patience, and understanding. This teaching is an invitation to see people for who they really are, not through the lens of self, not through the lens of our insecurities, but through the lens of acceptance.

Matthew Kelly

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