“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged.” (Matt. 7:1-2 New King James Version)[new paragraph]
The importance of these words have been impressed on me throughout the years. I can’t judge a person without giving him or her the right to judge me. But as a freshman in academy I didn’t fear being judged, because I was young and naïve. Although I was attending an Adventist academy and most of us were raised in Adventist families, some students still were insubordinate, deviant, or sneaky. The standards I had set for myself I did not impose on others. For the most part, any judgments I made were positive, overlooking, or compassionately sympathetic.
“Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery.” Jn. 8:3 [new paragraph]
I remember taking a critical attitude towards one person. I was not impressed by her behavior, which made me label her. I realize now that I was being presumptuous. I looked down on her as a result. “He raised Himself up and said to them, ‘He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.’ ” v. 7. I have enough history behind me now (things I’ve done that I’m ashamed of) to humble me. “And Jesus said to her, ‘Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.’ ” v. 11. How could I have a condemning attitude toward her? I myself am a sinner like she is—and serve a God who has forgiven all the sins I’ve committed and lets me start over. [new paragraph]
“In lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.” Phil. 2:3
Now, as a freshman in college, I’m definitely not as unsullied as I was when entering academy. Now rather than simply sympathizing, I can empathize with others in their struggles and pitfalls. I’m no better than they are. And that’s what my attitude should reflect. Sometimes I still judge others critically, and when I do, it’s easy to treat them coldly or ignore them. That’s not right; God is the Judge, not me. I still have to deliberately adjust my judgmental reactions to people’s behavior or bad choices, because putting people in a box is wrong, hurting them and me. He or she is a child of God, a unique person that I don’t want to miss out on getting to know.
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Rom. 3:23
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