Monday, December 29, 2008

Easy Dismissal: human judgment

We humans have a very bad habit of easily dismissing other people. Everyone does this. Religious, non-religious. Christians, non-Christians. This is what Jesus calls Hardness of Heart. And it is possibly the worst of sins because it's a sin against Love. It's part of the human condition to judge others and dismiss their lives, pains, etc. We don't know...but we think we know. Because it's easier than to break up the fallow ground of our dry hearts.

We find other people over-emotional. Or we judge them as whiny. Or we judge them as weak. Or we judge them as cold. It doesn't matter. We just judge them. And we really don't know what it's like to walk in their shoes...but we think if we walk in those folks' shoes we would wear those shoes better. I cannot tell you the amount of folks who think that if they only slept one hour a night for 20 years...and was taking care of an autistic kid they would be so much better than I am. Oh really?

I notice this a lot in Christian sermons. Ministers always give illustrations as if if they were in a Bible character's position they would be so much better. I've heard people blame the brother that stayed at home (when the prodigal left) for not being more happy when his prodigal brother got home. As if they themselves would have behaved so much better...as if they actually behave better. I've seen ministers blame Hagar...as if they know what it's like to be a slave woman. I've heard ministers blame Job's wife as if they wouldn't lose faith if all their children were killed in one night. I've heard people mock the disciples for having no faith and pick on Peter for running out on Jesus...as if they wouldn't have done it. Oh really?

I recently heard a white Christian guy on Christian TV talking about the bad habit black women of have being fat. His mouth fairly dropped scorn. Seems we black women just don't have any moral power to stop ourselves. Like the guy knows what it's like to deal with racist folks. Has anyone ever done a study on the effect of racism on black women? And how about those studies that say black folks don't have the enzymes to digest wheat and milk properly...besides our body was geared to store fat because so many of our ancestors lived in barren places? And how about the effects of stress and lack of sleeplessness on obesity? But no...folks like easy answers and so they come up with black folks eat too much and so are fat. Oh really?

Jesus tells us not to judge each other's sins. We believe we don't judge other folks' sins but judging what we consider other folks' failures, faults or personality...is also judging. Look: I'm not gonna judge a judgmental minister when he falls into sin. Remember, the Bible says judge not less ye be judged. And that judgement is often not the great throne judgment but being put in the same situation as the person you judged. I remember a friend picking on her sister-in-law. Her exact words were: "Look, she got so far taking chemotherapy. But look at me. I had cancer too. And I'm thin." I so wanted to sock this lady. Even in the same situation, she found a reason to judge another human being. We should have loving hearts.

I am totally sure I get on folks nerve and they think I'm a whiny blogger. But you know what? I feel God called me to be honest...in a world where so many Christians and so many Blacks are not honest because we care too much what other folks think about us. So if I whine because I feel sick or my son feels sick...just be happy that you aren't sick. Besides, I'm not judging you or your posts. I try my best to enter the life of another and see their life from their own point of view. I fail sometimes especially when someone seems healthy, beautiful, happy. A kind of annoyance and envy and judging them as if they don't know how crappy life can be. And although I know some folks don't have it nearly as bad as I do. I also know that A) some folks have it way worse than I do and B) I won't always be able to tell which of the beautiful blonde rich women I dislike are actually in great physical and emotional pain. So I too have to be careful.

I soooo know how --everyday, everyday, everyday...I just miss falling into some mega sin of judging others. But that's between me and God. And I've lived long enough to know how frail we humans are...and how hard life is...for EVERYONE.
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