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“Don’t judge me” is probably one of the most common phrases thrown out there by humanity. People do not like to be judged by others because they feel like others lack real insight into their own personal situation; and for the most part, this is absolutely true. Even the bible admonishes us about judging in scriptures such as Mathew 7:1 “Judge not, that ye may not be judged” and Romans 14:13 “Let us not therefore judge one another any more.”
But the reality is, we all judge. Insomuch as you declare, “do not judge me” you are judging; you have judged those you believe are judging you.
Judge: To form an opinion about something after careful thought; to regard as either good or bad
There really is no escaping judgement- neither giving or receiving it. So what are these scripture in the Bible about? Let us look at the amplified version of Matthew 7:1-2:
Do not judge and criticize and condemn others, so that you may not be judged and criticized and condemned yourselves. 2 For just as you judge and criticize and condemn others, you will be judged and criticized and condemned, and in accordance with the measure you [use to] deal out to others, it will be dealt out again to you.
A problem arises when we sit on a pedestal, believing ourselves to be more special or deserving than the hypocrite, the murderer, the thief, the adulterous, the one who disobeys… We cease to see our own spiritual infidelities. Our hearts become unrepentant. We forget that we are all made of the same dirt and will all return to that dirt. Thinking we have judged rightly, we will find in the end that we have misjudged our own position before God. This also carries over to putting some people in higher esteem than others.
You see, the one condemned in your eyes, is the one Jesus Christ died for. The one whom you think yourself superior too, this is the one that “God so loved, that he gave his only begotten Son” for. That one that you have disregarded? That is the one that Christ is seeking to save.
Most people believe they are not judging. But let us consider some trigger words. What sort of thoughts come to mind when you read these words. Ponder them each individually and slowly:
Homosexuality. Muslim. Abortion. Christian. Jesus. Buddha. Science. Family. Gandhi. Mother Theresa. Baptism. Salvation. Heaven. Hell.
This list could be infinite. Each word will conjure up something within your heart, and for each word, you have a personal judgement made about it. The problem does not lie in what your personal perception and understanding of these words is. The problem lies when you attach these labels to people and consequently praise or condemn, befriend or avoid them.
One of the most damaging thoughts out there in our time is the thought of “toxic people.” Many quotes are being circulated in our world about staying away from these toxic-humanoids. Yes, you may as well call it something different than human. This thought process is loaded with judgement and condemnation, because as soon as you have labeled somebody “toxic” you have judged them.
Does that mean that staying away from someone that may harm you or pressure you to go against your own conscience is wrong? No! That is healthy. But, remember, those that deserve our attention the least, may need it the most. If we must, for our own safety, put distance between us and another person, do so with love, praying that this person may get the healing and help they so desperately need. But pushing people out of our lives just because they are different, difficult or not what we expected, is harmful.
Life is not easy- no matter who is in it. This life is meant to teach us lessons and lessons are not learned through ease. We all have a powerful inner-critic at work all the time. Let us not be found guilty of strengthening the inner critic of others.
“Don’t judge me until you have walked a mile in my shoes.”
Too many wear this like a badge of honor, yet do not honor this in others. We cannot sit a critic and condemner and love at the same time.
Most of religion is set up with walls- enclosing people, codes, regulations, laws, hierarchy and tradition inside walls and judging and excluding those who stay without them. There was a letter written to the Galatians dealing with this very thing in chapter 2 we read:
Even that question came up only because of some so-called believers there—false ones, really—who were secretly brought in. They sneaked in to spy on us and take away the freedom we have in Christ Jesus. They wanted to enslave us and force us to follow their Jewish regulations. 5 But we refused to give in to them for a single moment. . . 14 When I saw that they were not following the truth of the gospel message, I said to Peter in front of all the others, “Since you, a Jew by birth, have discarded the Jewish laws and are living like a Gentile, why are you now trying to make these Gentiles follow the Jewish traditions? . . . And we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we might be made right with God because of our faith in Christ, not because we have obeyed the law. For no one will ever be made right with God by obeying the law. . . I am a sinner if I rebuild the old system of law I already tore down. 19 For when I tried to keep the law, it condemned me. So I died to the law—I stopped trying to meet all its requirements—so that I might live for God. 20 My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not treat the grace of God as meaningless. For if keeping the law could make us right with God, then there was no need for Christ to die.
Many times those who sit in judgement get angry when you highlight these scriptures, because they have turned the Bible into their God and have dissected its words and created another system of laws which was never the purpose of Christ. His purpose was to come and light the way of every man. His purpose was to turn us away from the incessant struggle of habitual fleshly sins, and to allow his light to come into our hearts and lead and guide us.
“Don’t judge me!”
This is impossible. No matter how you live your life, someone here will judge you and condemn you. But as we allow the light of Christ to illuminate our hearts and draw closer and closer to this unconditional love, we will no longer feel the need to defend ourselves, nor to judge others. God’s grace and love will suffice us!