Judge Not! See God's Child and Forgive!
Judging is a part of everyday life – whether we like it or not. Sometimes it's helpful (making the right choices, seeing the good in others); sometimes it's harmful (making wrong choices, seeing only the negative aspects of others). We can make a difference in our own and in others' lives by challenging and stopping judgmental thoughts, words, or actions. Haley Scheck tells us how.
Jesus tells us, "Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you" (Matt 7:1 NIV). It's really the Golden Rule: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" (paraphrased from Luke 7:12). If you don't want to be judged, then just don't judge.
So, what if someone says, "Oh, you're so dumb!"? You don't have to accept the judgment. Now I'm not saying you should say, "Oh yah? Well then why am I in a higher math class than you?" … or whatever comeback you come up with. You can tell them you're not dumb, or you can choose not to respond. You don't have to accept or get upset at the judgment. Instead, you can let go of any bad feelings, resentment, jealousy, or whatever you're feeling as a result of the judgment and know that God is your judge and everyone's judge. We read in Deuteronomy that "the judgment is God's" (1:17).
How does God judge us? God made everybody perfect. We read in the Bible, "God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them…. And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good" (Gen 1:27, 31 KJV). So it's our job to see the people around us as God's image and likeness. It might not be easy to see it all the time. But if we can see the other person or group of people, whoever is bothering us or we are bothering, as a child of God (and therefore worthy of being loved for who he or she really is), then all will be well.
When I find myself having a hard time with judging, what I like to do is come up with a list of the good I see in the person or people. It is a way to see the qualities that God gave them to express. Something my dad tells me is that if I see a fault in somebody else, then I need to examine my own thinking to see if the fault is in me. I don't want to believe that about myself or others, so I have to be careful what I see. I have to make sure I'm seeing others as God sees them – as beautiful, perfect children. We also have to see ourselves that way, too.
Jesus is a good example to follow. He had authority to judge, but he didn't abuse this authority. He said, "Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man" (John 8:15). He also said only what God told him to say: "I have many things to say and to judge of you: but he that sent me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of him" (John 8:26).
If you find yourself struggling with judgment, whether it's judging others or feeling judged, another thing you can think about is forgiveness. Jesus said, "Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven" (Luke 6:37).
Forgiving will make a difference! When Jesus was on the cross, after being whipped 39 times (40 being the death sentence), taunted, laughed at, and mistreated in general, he was an inch from dying. But he didn't judge them. Instead he said, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do" (Luke 23:24). Even after going through what no man should go through, he still saw his persecutors as his Father's absolutely perfect children.
Jesus saw people as only perfect. That's why he never had any problem healing people; he only saw their true, God-created selves. If we could only do that, imagine what this world could be! If we could treat every man like a brother, and every woman like a sister, and see all God's children as whow they really are, this would be a wonderful, judgment-free world.