It takes over four years to become a nurse and over seven years to become a doctor, but these days it only takes Facebook, a bad experience, or a juicy story to become a judge. Sometimes we fail to acknowledge that there are a multitude of contributing factors behind a person's actions or failures to act. We don't know every piece of the puzzle, yet some of us find ourselves sitting there forming concrete judgments on the final products knowing it's not our place or our business.
With all of the unrest going on in the world, bills that need to be paid, and responsibilities people have to tend to, one would think that most adults wouldn’t have time to entertain such petty or negative things. However, some people thrive on hearing the worst about others or take it upon themselves to bang their gavel.
If social media arguments, petty family discussions, and stirring the pot are amongst your favorite hobbies, we’d love to know where you got your nerve to do so. Who are you to gossip about or condemn someone due to the bad choices of their past or the extent of their current struggle? On what planet do you think it's okay to remind others of their wrongs, failures, and lowest points whenever you know they are trying to grow and do better? How do you find the gall to make someone's loss, parenting, or iniquities an open discussion? Who are you to judge someone's life when you don’t even have your own life together? These are just a few of the many questions we have for judgmental people.
Deep down inside we all know why people judge others, because we're all guilty of it ourselves. Judging and being overly critical of others escapes us for a variety of different reasons. Whether it's due to ignorance, weakness, lack of empathy, or ugliness the end result is always negative. The problem with spending time judging or being critical of others is that we are inevitably hurting ourselves. Why? Because every ounce of energy, attention, and emotion we are putting into entertaining someone else’s downfall, flaws, or blind spots is only leaving ourselves open for attack, karma, and lack. There will come a time for the tables to turn and whenever that occurs, simple gossip and senseless conversations won't be so simple to swallow.
Check Before the Wreck
I thought I knew everything about myself, life, and problem solving. Though I never was much of a gossiper, I still listened to the rumors that came before me and made my judgment according (whether silently or by cutting my eyes). Though I wasn’t always one to openly express my judgments, I oftentimes failed to show compassion to people that failed, messed up, or just couldn’t seem to get on the right track. I couldn’t understand the stupidity, stagnation, or confusion of others. In my little mind, I had all the answers and many people believed I did as well.I used to pride myself on having no regrets in life and always doing well, but failed to identify that I only lacked regret because I lacked experience. Had I listened to understand instead of listening to simply support, appease, analyze, or judge, I could have avoided some bad turns, difficult seasons, and deep pain.
The biggest and harshest judge I've ever had to face was the person in the mirror. Once I found myself on the other side of failure my actions, reactions, and views towards many people, topics, and situations changed. Until the ball was in my court, the weight was on my shoulders, and the spotlight was on me, I couldn’t get it. I couldn’t grasp the sensitivity of someone’s situation or the vulnerability of a shaking voice or lowered chin. It took experiencing the bottom to understand that most people fall at some point, but everyone needs a hand to hold or a hand up to get out.
Don’t Judge Another Journey
Before we judge others, taunt them because of their past, find entertainment in their iniquities, or dismiss their pain, we should ask ourselves how we'd feel if we were the main characters in those stories. If we wouldn't want to be embarrassed, become the talk of the town, or have our business dissected and spread like front page news, then we shouldn't exhibit that type of behavior towards other people. After all, those are the very activities that cripple others and bring curses upon ourselves.
Every step, whether forward or backward, has a purpose in a person's life. Lest we forget that oftentimes it’s the brokenness, bad experiences, and waiting seasons that work together to build someone's character, create empathy, and make them better people than they were before. Everyone on this Earth has made a bad choice, let someone down, or fell short at something. Unless we can honestly and confidently say that we never have and never will be that person, then maybe it’s in our best interest to keep our mouths shut and our tea sessions at a minimum. We never know where our road will take us.