I judge people all the time. Are you aware that you do too? We live in a time where people quickly retort the all-too-trite and clichéd remark, “I don’t judge.” (Frankly, the statement lost it’s former ostensible coolness for me decades ago as I grew into my natural skeptical self.) And predictably most will wax boring with a bull session dialogue that is dynamically opposite their prefacing wrapping paper statement, “I don’t judge.” Thus, most “non judgers” will utterly confuse their listener. “Was I judged and accepted at the same time?”
Folks let’s get something right, right here and now. Everyone judges whether overtly or covertly, witting or otherwise. It makes no difference how well one attempts to cloak it too. Say it with me. I judge people.
“David, who do you think you are? What makes you so sure?”
Your questions alone would allow me to rest my case. By some standard, arbitrary or not, you hold my reasoning in doubt. Your questions, my friend, are implied judgement.
“David, that’s not fair. You know what I mean?”
Yeah. You doubt me. No? Even to doubt is to hold something up to scrutiny to make a correct conclusion or judgement about its truthfulness. It is in the nature of truth to exclude its opposite, even if the doubter only holds to an intuitive opposite notion with which to doubt. It’s passive, but judgement nonetheless.
What I am vying for is accuracy of word choice and meaning in use when communicating with others. Be clear with people by stating unequivocally where you stand on a matter. I sympathize and understand when a person says that he or she does not judge because I know their meaning is simply to emphasize an unconditional acceptance of a person, whether a person be, in truth, right or wrong for Y reason(s). What’s more is that this does not exclude one’s ability to hold to a conviction that is dynamically opposed to the convictions of the one being unconditionally accepted. Warning! Acceptance of a person, however, does not include acceptance of that person’s convictions until stated otherwise too.
“Well if you know what people really mean, then why all this mumbo jumbo!”
To all content is an intent. My intent is always to push people in different directions to convince them of how refreshing differing angles or viewpoints on any aspect of life can be. Also I mumble and jumble to teach people to cease the continual obfuscation of the truth through the epitomizing of their present cultural moorings (for example, “I don’t judge!”). The statement that one does not judge is a culturally evolved statement that muddies the water. Or simply put, it is like saying, “Whatever!” But to do that is to check one’s brain at the door and to avoid the tension of truth seeking and truth claiming. If one really believes something to be true, then checking one’s brain and convictions at the door is sacrilege for the person who jettisons their convictions at the altar of cultural moods and notions of buzzwords like acceptance, tolerance or not judging. Be clear with a person where you stand with gentleness and tact, while allowing your words to fall on the ears of your listener as they will.
To drive this home, if you are a Christian and you state, as an example, that you are pro-life, rest assured that you will be judged and sentenced to a verbal slaying. But you see, I would not begin, or at least hope, that I would not begin to crumble in the face of their scrutiny. Rather, I would begin to gently and carefully unpack the moral-claim from which a proponent for abortion has formed their conviction. Is it morally unshakeable, logical and livable? You see, the issue is not for us not to judge. We are commanded to make a just judgement by starting with our own hearts to make a worthy judgement, or stay silent. But if and when you speak, be prepared to be challenged. With the measure that you use truth, the worth of your truth-claim will be scrutinized according to the standard of your moral character and actions. If you lack credibility to lay down any particular judgement, then you will fall and hard. Judge justly so that you may stand and remain above reproach when all manner of false accusation is spoken against you.
In short, in order to speak the truth you must not have any deceit in your heart on the very sin you point out in your brother or sister in Christ. Judge justly.
Now you don’t have to agree with my judgements herein. But suffer no delusion. You have to judge me to know a difference here. See? ;)
Do judge. But judge justly. It keeps us honest about our own heart condition.
“…and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” -Matthew 7:5