Those words have haunted my thoughts and hounded my dreams ever since I uttered them. OF COURSE WE CARE! As much as we would like to deny that truth and as brazenly as we thumb our noses at conventionality---WE DEEPLY CARE what others think of us. If we did not care, we would never question what others think.
I do not like the feeling I am being judged--be it my martial status, my appearance, my intellect, whatever---it is not a good feeling to know someone has turned their nose up and cast the "Poor You" my way. In most cases, those things for which I am judged --I had no control over. Yet others feel the freedom to judge me without giving me the benefit of explanation. Shame on them!
In my smug pious world, I loudly declare, I am not judgmental. I never cast a disparaging glance at those with multiple piercing and metal hanging from every orifice. I never doubt those standing on street corners with signs asking for money. I never turn my nose up in disgust when someone who smells ripe stands in line next to me in the grocery store. I always smile with delight when wayward children run amok in the waiting room.
I AM GUILTY AS CHARGED! I AM JUDGMENTAL and as badly as I hate to admit it, I have prejudices. It comes down to this---we want everyone to act, smell, think, and look, like we do. For after all we are always right! Though some might disagree---VEHEMENTLY!
SO what I found most distressing about my conversation about another being judgmental was not the fact that inherently we all tend to be judgmental, but the question was asked because we were speaking of a pastor. We Believers have given the world the sad impression we are sitting around judging others and their actions. Before you hastily deny this, remember where there is smoke there has been fire. It wounds me grievously to know others look upon us as disapproving, judgmental hypocrites. What we should be known for is our love for others--our acts of service, our compassionate spirits, and contrite hearts. We should be confessing our humanness and sinful nature--allowing others to see our feet of clay. We need to quit casting stones, and declaring judgment. We should be loudly proclaiming the grace which we were freely gifted when we came up woefully short and threw ourselves on the mercy seat.
What can be done about this? A change starts with one person--ME. If I change my attitude, my direction, my heart--then hopefully others will see my actions and be inspired. My charge is to be the reflection of Jesus to those placed in my path--not their judge--nor their jury--but a fellow man in need of grace.
Do not judge, or you too will be judged.
For in the same way you judge others,
you will be judged,
and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.