Don’t read this if you’re just going to be offended and not take anything from it.
A trend I’m noticing in society, day-to-day life, Facebook, and basically anywhere you can name, is emphasizing not judging people. Here are some really popular ones (or variations of popular ones):
“You know my name, not my story.”
“If you don’t know me, don’t judge me. Nobody said you had to love me.”
“Don’t judge me until you’ve judged yourself.”
“I like myself the way I am. Nothing you say can change that.”
“You shouldn’t judge a person until you’ve actually met them.”
Now, I agree. (Whoa, you weren’t expecting that, were you?) No person can judge someone else. They are in no position to. Everyone’s a sinner; everyone is equally condemned and loved before God. All sins are equal. The Bible clearly confirms this. “Brothers, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against his brother or judges him speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor?” (James 4:11-12). “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” (Luke 6:41-42). But something’s not right in this trend. Something’s amiss.
Look out, I’m about to get really blunt here. I am a firm believer in not judging. I’ve been judged myself far too many times and it does hurt a lot. But I want to ask, why are people saying these Biblical truths? Is it really because they believe, for the benefit of everyone, people shouldn’t judge them? I don’t think this is the case for everyone. There’s a couple problems going on.
First thing I notice is that when people say they’ve been “judged,” it can oftentimes be a true “judgement” and therefore not even a judgement at all. Kind of confusing, but let me put it this way. If on a clear day, I say the sky is blue, that’s because it is. I’m not saying anything that isn’t true. The sky is blue. If someone is doing something they shouldn’t be and are called out on it, that isn’t a judgement. That’s a true confrontation that should probably be taken to heart. Being happy with who you are isn’t wrong until who you are being is sinful. God made everyone unique, but He didn’t make us sinful. That’s our own fault, and we should be trying to change the sinner in us with the help of God. Go ahead and make the argument that you’re forgiven and so it’s okay, but that’s not going to stand, either. (Romans 6:1-3).
Secondly, what’s the motive for saying people shouldn’t judge? Ninety percent of the time, it’s people who have just been insulted (or maybe confronted) and they don’t like it. Saying something like the quotes above make them feel better about themselves. So it’s not in defense of someone else, it’s for their own sake, and for the chiding of the person who “judged” them. What good does that do? There’s something else going on here, too. Most of the time, the anger behind the statement is evidence that there is judgement on their part, as well. What? Well, think about it. If they’re angrily telling someone else not to judge, if they reflected on their true motives, they probably aren’t so perfect in that moment and are judging the other person as self-righteous and mean. At the same time, they are putting themselves into a position where they view themselves as righteous and above the other person. It makes no sense.
So what are you supposed to do if you are judged or insulted? Don’t get angry. Have patience. Don’t judge the other person. If you’re close to them and it’s a consistent problem, you can confront them. Love endlessly. “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.” (Matthew 5:38-42).
Before you go and call someone judgmental, look at yourself. Is this out of anger for that person or because you’ve felt belittled? Pray about it. Ask God to remind you who you are in Him. Ask Him to make clear if any changes need to be made in your life. Believe it or not, you may have to change. And finally, ask that you may love the person without restraint and show them God’s perfect love.