Thursday, June 30, 2011

Judgment and Judgmentalism: what exactly are they?

When most people think of being judgemental, they often think of one person judging another person's sin. But judgmentalism is much more than that. Entering into Judgement about another person is nothing more or less than a coldhearted smug assessment of another person's life.  When viewed in this light, we see that it is not only religious people who are judgmental. Everyone is judgmental; it's the norm of human life.

The Bible tells us to "Esteem others more highly than ourselves." Philippians 2:3,4, and Romans 12:10 Among other things, this means we are to enter into all relationships with a belief that the other person knows more about their own lives than we do, that the other person are on their particular path in life for reasons we cannot know because we are God. True, some of these paths are cruel, dangerous, self-destructive...and we would like our friends, foes, families to be far from these paths...but we must have an understanding art and an attitude of respect. We must understand enough about the limited state of human strength and human knowledge so that we don't think that if we had lived in the lives of others we would be living their lives vastly better than they are living them.

It is the essence of human nature to believe in right and wrong. (Even atheists and agnostics believe in right and wrong. They like to think they don't push their ideas of right and wrong on other folks but atheists are constantly telling people what is right or wrong about God, morals, truth, belief systems etc.) So, let's accept that there is this big tree of knowledge of good of evil growing out of human hearts. It wasn't what God wanted because He knew we would judge ourselves and others...instead of entering into loving life. But there it is: this standardizing we were born into

We are always aware of standards -- usually ours and those standards in the world that we respect and adhere to-- and we're always aware of how others have not adhered to it. This is how God will judge the world: by the inner laws we live by and judge others. An agnostic will be judged by how she has followed her own laws (and how she has unlovingly judged others by those same laws while she allowed herself a "pass".) A man in the middle of some tribe in the middle of nowhere will be judged by the inner laws/standards he lives
by and how he unlovingly judges others by those same laws while he excuses himself from them.

At the heart of all this is whether we have loved others as we have loved ourselves, whether we have been harsh and coldhearted to our fellow man while allowing ourselves free rein. It's all about love.

Cold-heartedness and lack of love is the issue. A person who thinks in her heart:

If I had that disabled child, I would be better at caring for that child ...
If I were poor, I would use money wiser....
If I were sick, I would not whine as this person is doing...
If I had a bad husband, I would not cheat....

Now, much of the effects of judging are like sown seeds. We sow judgment like seeds and we reap fruit and consequences which say to us: "okay, you judged and said if you were in this you're in it. Let's see you live up to your perfect standards."

This is one of the reasons why I get very angry at kneejerk disdain and folks who lack etiquette. Whether it's an atheist sneering at someone for being enslaved to old-fashioned theology, or a "spiritual" person sneering because someone is not as "wise" or "enlightened" as they are, or a non-drinker scorning an alcoholic or substance abuser, or a hard-worker sneering at someone who wastes money.... the kneejerk disdain shows our heart. And God doesn't look at the appearance; He looks at the heart.

I remember once I was listening to a Christian "cancer survivor." She had all the actions and jargon and mannerisms I really hate in Christians. I realized -- or Holy Spirit made me realize-- that I was so pissed at the  Churchianity in the lady (and at all the weirdo Christians who had brought me much grief in life) that I wasn't listening to this woman's painful healing testimony with a loving heart. One has to be careful. This is how God judges all men. We are to forgive everyone from the heart and we are to love everyone from the heart.

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