I’ve been thinking and praying all day about what I should write tonight, and up until about two minutes ago, I had no idea. I’ve been reading through the Bible, and today, I was reading in Matthew 7: 1-5. There’s so much good stuff in these five verses that one could study them and meditate on them for years, and still not fully grasp all that they give us in the way of wisdom, and how applicable they are in discerning what real love is, and how we should love others, and ourselves.
Sometimes, it’s the easiest thing in the world to define ourselves and the world we live in by looking at other people and their actions. What’s harder is understanding that other people are defining themselves by us and our actions. It’s a hard concept to grasp. Judging others comes so easy, and it feels so good, and it’s like a topical antiseptic…just apply it and in a few moments you feel better. At least, for the short-term, it’s true, but why doesn’t it last? And, why is it that making judgments about others becomes like eating “Lays” potato chips; nobody can be satisfied with just one. Could it be that it becomes a habit, an addiction, an easy fix to an inner wound that we’re not willing to deal with, and that we don’t want to heal because then we’d lose the right to feel pain over it. More to the point, we’d lose our sense of justification to use it as a way to continue living the way we are. Isn’t that what judgment is? A way to justify behavior?
What we fail to understand is there’s a price for justifying the way we live, but sadly, too often, it’s not us who have to pay the price, at least not in the short-term. Too often the ones who are paying the price are the ones we’re judging, and too often our judgments become like those of the arsonist lighting a fire. At their worst, they can and do destroy the lives of people, and if they don’t destroy a person they can cause so much damage that it may set people back years, and prevent them from ever living up to their potential.
The sadness of this is that more often than not, the ones making the judgments are the first ones to cry foul when they’re on the receiving end. So many of us are so quick to want to help someone else, when we can’t even help ourselves, and are guilty of the same things. It’s like telling someone to stop drinking when you’re holding a drink. I can’t possibly begin to express all the ugly ways and means by which hypocrisy rears its ugly head, but it’s beginning lies….just in our eyes.