Mistakes are the portals of discovery. James Joyce
Good judgment comes from experience. And all of that comes from bad judgment. It’s too bad that people aren’t willing to apply some self-judgment towards their actions, before acting?
Stop it! Listen to me right now! Get off of there; you’re going to get hurt! You’re being bad. If you don’t stop that right now you’re going to bed. Stop hitting and scratching your sister! The “Do this”, and the “Stop it”, or “Don’t…”, and an assortment of other “do’s and don’ts” statements made as bold idol threats, drowned out the calming music piped through the store. The kids stopped for a brief moment, and then the moment was gone. They didn’t believe in their parents idol threats, they just dismissed their commands, totally ignored. It seemed to wear negatively on everyone who was in ear shot of the public uproar. My mind could image what went on behind closed doors at home. Slamming doors, throwing toys, children and adults screaming at each other, followed by more fighting and misbehaving by everyone caught in the vortex of the moment. I personally don’t expect parents to be perfect or even have all of the answers to any situations that come up while raising children. I just expect parents to exhibit adult wisdom in handling themselves as adults, (Not perfect people, maybe damaged people themselves as I believe everyone is somewhat) but not adding to the confusion and turmoil, or the disorder of the moment. There is wisdom in being aware of your surroundings in public and in the privacy of your own thoughts. So as you believe, so will you act?
At times I think the problem with the gene pool is there is no lifeguard on duty.
Children learn from examples of who and what they see—what is true about us, not from what we want them to believe about us.
Allowing the moment to calm a bit, I offered my two cents. ”I am convinced that the rules and boundaries my parents showed me gave not less but more freedom because I didn’t have to spend so much time testing them, testing how far I can go (as so many kids do today). Explaining boundaries and consequences when crossing them with consistency is the key”.
Perhaps shocked a bit or just embarrassed, the parent’s response caught me by surprise. They responded, “Don’t judge me!”
“I’m not judging….”
“Do not judge lest you be judged! Good day to you!” they said, as they moved along, giving that evil eye looking over their shoulder.
I was shocked, and dumbfounded! I don’t know what was more flabbergasting the calm response or the miss-quotation of scripture?
“Judge not lest ye be judged” is perhaps the most popular quote used by people who haven’t read or apply what they have learned from the Bible.
It’s easy to draw some lines between those who are religious and those who are not. But then we all have our difficulties, struggles, inner demons–even those who go to religious services.
This phrase usually appears in the heat of the moment, in an argument over any number of things. Someone points out, or gives some un wanted advice to a person’s who mismanaged misbehaving kids, or to someone who has a problem with alcohol use / drug use, or recreational activities that are dangerous, or even personal interactions with others as being unbecoming, or abrasive…. The person in question will say “Don’t judge me.” Even coworkers at work critiquing another’s ideas, causing a refrained defense in responses—don’t judge. This is just confusing.
Is disagreeing with people judgmental?
Is pointing out destructive behavior being too judgmental?
Have we as a society become uncomfortable with arguments, whether they’re being made and express by people and their personal views as they see things in others (some good and some bad) opposed to our own self blinding view of perfection? Heaven forbid if our own inconsistencies or lack of reasonable responsibilities should surface by other people and their finger-pointing? In that moment we all may choose to grab the verbal grenade and tossing it into the mix in the hope of shaming, or silencing everyone, while also elevating our status to the Son of God level.
Quoting his words—makes us like Jesus, right?
If people become aware that their detractor is also a professed Christian, they usually throw into the mix for good measure, “The church and or Christians are so judgmental, bigoted, abrasive, and high and mighty with their morals, aren’t they? Their extra little shove, that boot that pushes people down while they try to walk on water.
In the immediate content of Matthew 7, Jesus is completing a scathing assessment of destructive religious practices of the day—only to have diabolical leaders and religious practitioners accuse Jesus of the same thing. Jesus accuses the religious leaders of hypocrisy in his famous Sermon on the Mount and then tells his followers to be careful not to accuse of the thing they’re guilty of. The fact is Jesus is calling people to make judgments and judgment calls about themselves before they judge others—to be self-aware before you intervene in other people’s lives. According to John 7 actions can be constructive and destructive, and we can’t always see or judge motive, nor should we.
Yet society today embraces the policies that “No judgments should be made at all regardless of motive. Live and let live”, is the motto.
If people weren’t able to make any judgments, we would cease to exist. We make judgment calls all the time. We use judgments about the appropriate clothes to wear to work, exposed tattoos in the work place, the cars we drive, how we are going to raise our kids, to the kinds of people we are dating or selecting as our significant others, people we are friending, foods we eat, diets, entertainments, what religious practices to embrace, or even whether or not to embrace none of the above. You’re probably judging me as you read my post?
If people would have read a bit farther just beyond those famous words of, “ judge not” they would find…”Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs” (Matthew 7:6) How would we know dogs and swine without judgments made?
It’s not the judgments being made that make us uncomfortable, causing us to react. It’s the blindfolded defense of our actions by any means possible to justify ourselves and to keep from having to look at our own motives, our actions, our weaknesses, or secret needs. We love the false lime light so long as what shows up in lights is our positively façade of our own choosing while secrets remain hidden. Yet we refuse to change, so we keep living a lie. So often we respond with don’t judge me as the means in building the walls higher in keeping our secrets hidden, hoping to blind people from truth, as we have chosen to blindfold ourselves to it. Even well-meaning advice or observations are looked as cracks that allow light into our privet lives and the sovereignty of our shadows. So we build bigger and better walls or so we think—adding more bricks of isolation.
Religion has no room for the thought that we must measure up to some level of performance or to some presumed acts, and so people that are religious shouldn’t present themselves as an exclusive club of being better than you, but being flawed all the same as anyone?
Instead of being tempted in pulling out the verbal grenades, keeping those views of ourselves the same but flawed, by wearing those rose-colored glasses of perfection, or placing ourselves above the level of others while offering criticism; we should look to avoid exposing ourselves as ignoramuses, and hypocrites quoting a book we haven’t read or presume to follow as if we wrote it.
Making better judgments in general, about advice received yet unsolicited, or observations made by others as wisdom gained will improve life for all– receiving judgment calls, may allow us to see problems by stepping back from them a bit, inspiring us in making improvements through better personal actions. If we weren’t allowed to make judgments, we would cease looking to make improvements, we would cease to exist.
What we need are more gracious ways to dialogue and disagree instead of the reaching for grenades and premature scorched earth invocations of “do not judge…”
But maybe that is the problem in society, refusing to judge one’s self in attaining some level in seeing the need to improve, (for no other reason than for a better you)? And that unfortunately requires making judgment first about ourselves. The basis of all religious belief systems is making a judgment of self for the need to improve ourselves. It’s when we act according to our own judgment of self, which is when everyone we come in contact with benefits. It’s poor behavior that commands of others “don’t judge me”!
Had the person in the store applied these principles, the shopping little shock of horrors may not have happened? Positive parenting might have inspired and given positive benefits to those children’s futures—priceless? The benefits also given to future society unquantifiable.
Making each day special knowing that you have fully lived it…fills that air with positive voice….
Discovering what it means to have fully lived life on any one day net alone a lifetime…requires making judgments.