Judgement hurts. Judgement spill out so easily, doesn’t it? We look at people and their actions and in a few moments we make a snap judgement about who they are, and what their actions say about them. Maybe it’s easy because it has become a norm in our society. There’s a whole lot of judgement going on these days and you can’t tell me it doesn’t hurt, and if you’ve been on the receiving end then you know that is the truth.
Single moms are often unfairly under the eye of judgement. How often has the mom whose kid is having a full blown tantrum received darting stares of annoyance? Or the person who comes late to church service every Sunday are given the disappointing stare? The woman who passes on adding to the collection plate is whispered about behind their back? We are so quick to give a disapproving glance, or cast a stereotype without looking beyond the surface. Are we so trained to take things at face value that we don’t really see the complexities of what is happening behind the face we are judging.
If we only stopped to ask, maybe we would learn that the child’s tantrum is because they are sick, and have been poked and prodded for months on end, and their mom is too exhausted from her own anxiety to do much about it.
Maybe the woman who is always late is fighting depression and just getting out of bed and getting dressed is a battle, so showing up to church is a win for them. The person who passed on the collection plate, may be struggling just to put food on their family’s table and is hoping not to get evicted, so there is no money to give.
The point is there is usually something deeper that lies beyond what we see. If you’ve ever been unfairly judged you know it cuts you to the core, it’s humilating and it makes you feel less than. Jesus wants us to be the light, to shine in that place where others see darkness. We are beautifully flawed and complex beings, so, before we judge let’s stop and look deeper. Instead of passing judgement let’s pass on acts of kindness and love so that judgement has no place to reside.