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Is It Possible Not To Judge People?
by Greg Baker
4/09/2010 / Relationships
We hear all the time that we aren't supposed to judge others. In actuality, judging others is part of life. It is something that you won't escape no matter how many times you vow you'll never do it. You'll do it. In fact, even saying "Don't judge me!" is a judgment on the other person. You are judging them on their judgment of you. What we really need is to learn to judge others in the right way.
For those of you Christians out there who are thinking about the Bible admonitions, you need to take another look at them. They don't tell you to NOT judge, but rather to be careful of the judgment you do preform. For whatever criteria you judge others by, that same criteria will be applied to you!
Matthew 7:1 - Judge not, that ye be not judged.
Luke 6:37 - Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:
John 7:24 - Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.
If you don't want to be judged by certain standards, then don't judge others by those same standards. That's hypocrisy. The truth is, we all judge people. We do it on our job applications, we do it when someone comes to our door, we do it based on a criminal background check, we do it based on grades, scores, and references.
If you've ever found yourself not liking someone you just met, you've judged them. Even if you discover that you like someone, then that too is a judgment. Deciding if someone needs help, or doesn't need help is a judgment. Refusing to allow a thief to guard your house while you are away is a judgment. Wanting to control your children's friends implies judgment. Deciding where to shop often implies a judgment of people. Disagreeing with another's point of view is a pronouncement of judgment.
What we must be careful about is making judgments on things that tell us little about a person's character. A person's appearance ought to never be a basis for judgment. We should not base our judgment on a person's skin color, nose size, how tall, how short, how pretty, how ugly, eye color, hair color, and other physical qualities that we are born with and can do nothing about. These things tell us nothing about a person's character and thus should not be made.
My point is that we all make judgments. The key is making 'righteous judgments'. Choose carefully by what standards you judge others. People will always judge you by those same standards to determine if you are hypocritical or not.
As much as you say you don't judge others, I can prove you wrong in a second. If you are disagreeing with this article or even agreeing with it, then you have judged my opinion to be either right or wrong. You've judged me. Without really ever knowing me, or meeting me, you've already formed a judgment of me. This is how we live. Everyone does this!
As a result, I have actually outlined a set of criteria by which I judge people. This helps me to determine if a person will be a positive or negative influence in my life, and it helps me to stay out of trouble.
Here are some of the standards that I judge others by:
1. What direction is the person going? I don't judge position, but rather direction. In my opinion, a person's direction is more important than a person's current position. If they are moving in the right direction, that is usually good enough for me. I can tolerate a lot if a person is progressing. Too many people look at a person's position as the basis of their judgment. This is a mistake.
2. Has the person broken or preserved my trust? This includes truthfulness. I'm willing to give people second chances and even third chances. But honestly, if they have already proven that they are untrustworthy, then that affects how I interact with them. As a rule, I always provide opportunity for people to regain my trust...though never with things or situations that I can't afford to lose or ruin.
3. How does a person handle rebuke? I test this one in many subtle ways. If a person is filled with pride and arrogance, they can't take correction. Correction is essential to a person's spiritual, emotional, and mental growth. Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone. But how the mistakes are dealt with is the standard by which I judge people...not the mistake itself!
This is how I judge people. This has a lot of give in it. It allows for growth and mistakes, but at the same time, it preserves me from the wrong crowd and those that would lead me in the wrong direction or destroy me. It's versatile enough to give people another chance and revealing enough to protect my marriage and other relationships.
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Hello, I was convicted today, and a Yahoo! search led me to this article. I recently launched a blog called thedysfunktionalchristian.me, and this topic is one I've been struggling with. Thank you for your insight because now I know where I am at fault in exercising judgement.
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