How is it possible that with a giant plank in my eye, I can still pluck away at the small speck’s in my brother or sister’s eye. How is it that we can go around pointing at one another with any sort of righteousness? We all sin, it’s a fact. How can a sinner righteously point at sin without pointing directly back at oneself? I for one spend much of my time judging others. I think that somewhere inside myself I have turned it into some kind of virtue. In an earthly way I realise how wrong this is, yet I have still corrected people when they have judged others. Wow! That makes me the kind of person that secularists refer to as… a hypocrite. This makes me the kind of person that actually detracts others from subscribing to my Christian beliefs. Now, is it possible to believe in something that I can’t live up to? Absolutely. Our goal is to improve and someday become the best version of ourselves, and try as we may to become perfect. The point I’m trying to make is: Why do we all have something to say about everything and everyone?
One could say that the Pope’s recent resignation was untimely as far as lent is concerned, but seriously, how can we decide if that was right or wrong? Are the Pope’s actions legal? Yes. Is the Pope capable of making decisions regarding the Church and his life within it? Yes. Making these decisions are within his rights. Does my personal preference matter? No, it really does not. The Church, as described in scripture, will prevail to the end; with or without any intellectual spin we place on it.
It’s so simple to understand the basics of judgment. I find wrong with you, and I feel better because I’m not the only bad one. Or better yet, I find wrong with you and feed my engorged ego because ‘I can do no wrong’. I’m sure the reasons for judging are vast. For one reason or another we all judge; just or unjust. I have been judged in loving ways also. For example, I have been reminded of the deadly nature of my sin by a priest in a confessional. It was clear that my confessor was acting out of love, as a kind of soul guardian. With ego in check, this can be taken as welcome advice or with our back up and ego flaring; with feelings like, how could he know what I’m going through, he’s a celibate?
It seems clear that Jesus wanted us to leave the judging to our father in heaven, but we also know Jesus wanted us to identify and call sin a sin. It’s also clear that our job as follower’s of Christ is to edify our brothers and sisters. It seems that it would be impossible to edify if we are busy judging. I think we need to fully identify judging as a serious sin in order to change our ways. I know that for my self, it has become a bad habit and it’s probably one of the most damaging things that I do on a regular basis. One of the worst things about us judging one another is that it usually leads to gossip. From my experience, I could move from an interior judgement to openly sharing my judgment with someone else very quickly. Now I’m guilty of a giant handful of sins in a very short time. In this case, I would have judged, gossiped, and followed up with tempting my company into following me down this slippery slope. It’s starting to look to me like I spend too much time with my mouth open and not enough time looking inward. If we notice sin in others, it could be a great opportunity to examine our own conscience. We may also be able to see the progression of sin and gain insight from our birds eye view of our brother or sister’s sin. In this case, we do our company a great service by not following them down this road. We can do our best by putting forth a good example. With this attitude we might be able to pinpoint just what exactly triggers our sinful need to judge.
If I am completely honest with you, I can tell you that my tendency to judge stems from an inferiority complex that I have dealt with since I can remember. Will I continue to let this crutch bring out the worst in me every time I’m triggered? I definitely hope not. Just being aware of my weaknesses increases my chance of success. Now, you are probably expecting me to pitch giving up judging as a Lenten penance, however, I’m asking something much greater. Let’s get rid of this pesky soul inhibiting habit all together. With your help and prayers, I will be doing everything in my power to come out of this season of triumph a less judgemental and more positive person. If you would like to add to the points mentioned in this post, please feel free to comment.
Keep the faith posers