“Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. For with the judgment you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get.”
— Matthew 7:1-2 (NRSV)
That is justice in a nutshell! What we give, we will get. Imagine what we will get when we are full of grace. Imagine what we could get, the prize for our faithfulness, when we refuse to judge and we advance to the other person the benefit of any doubt.
Judgment is justice. How could we, therefore, judge? We are not just... unless, that is, we are in positions of anointing—in a role that requires us to judge.
There is at least one important reason why we shouldn’t judge—perhaps the most obvious reason—and we could be fooled for thinking we shouldn’t need to be told or be reminded; that seriously underestimates our fallen natures. We develop mistaken views in a flash.
One important reason not to judge is we truly don’t know what people have been through, or are going through.
Don’t Underestimate the Range of Experience
Some float through life and are relatively undamaged by the process of existence, yet some are severely scarred and have endured much more than most could comprehend, let alone endure themselves.
For most of us, we fit somewhere in the middle. We have endured hardships, but we have also been significantly blessed.
The point is, there is such a range of human experience that one human mind cannot even begin to grasp what it may be like for another person who they might easily judge. They judge at their peril, and at the peril of the judged. Both the judged and that ‘judge’ are condemned. The former is condemned by isolation, by bigotry, and by unsaid blows to the heart. The latter, whether they recognise it or not, are cursed in this circumstance, let alone what is arranged for them in eternity. Yet we all judge when we know we shouldn’t, and at repentance we are forgiven by God for our arrogant ignorance.
The truth is, from a Christian viewpoint, we worship an inclusive God. Jesus came here and vouched for the outlier, was an advocate of the oppressed, and railed hard against the privileged; those who were stingy, snobby, and stuffy.
In the Christian world it is very unbecoming to judge. Those who will judge, who engage in conflict easily, are spiritually short-sighted (as we all tend to be from time to time), and don’t respect the suffering that others have been through or are going through.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.