Judgey McJudger is a fictitious friend who we often see about in the world. You know the person. My father would call him or her a pickle-puss. They are people who, instead of looking out at the world with a smile and love, they approach the world with a critical eye.
Lately, the concept of “judgement” has come upon me. It always comes back around because we cannot escape our own judgement of everything and we can’t escape the admonition to “judge not, lest ye be judged.” So, we are left in this uncomfortable space where, if we aren’t meticulously clear, we can go dangerously awry.
In fact, at this very moment, I am having a crisis of conscious with my religious leader over judgment. Whenever I have these sorts of disagreements (not ugly, at all, just a difference of opinions that we will get to in a bit) it forces me to get really clear about what I believe and why I believe the way I do.
My “judgments” on Judgey McJudger
See we can’t escape judgement. Even me commenting on being a judger is a judgment on life. So…while knowing full well I am judging… I speak
- I believe that judging others negatively generally rots your soul, especially when it becomes a habit.
- I believe that we all have a compulsion to judge because it is often necessary to live in the world.
- I believe that judgement of others is not a trait to be grown but rather to be restricted.
- I believe that that “law” is given to us, primarily, to judge or convict ourselves.
- I believe that given the go ahead to judge, we all would become prideful.
- I don’t believe God has given license to any human on this earth to judge. Judgement is reserved for God, alone.
- I believe if you think something is wrong…..there is a real easy solution to your judgement. Don’t do it.
- Although I believe in the spiritual gift of “prophesy”, I don’t believe, for a second, that there is identified prophets, who get to judge us, in our midst, or who have some special hotline to God.
etc. etc. etc.
The bottom line is that when I look out at the world and am Judgey McJudger, I am miserable. It gets overwhelming and takes over my thoughts. I have a negative perspective, and a frown. When I
Replace Judgement with LOVE
I am a new person. In fact, on a person by person basis…when I am inclined to judge a person, for whatever…the way they are dressed, how they sin, for whatever, I try to STOP, right then and replace that judgmental thought with a kind, loving thought about the person.
There is, of course a caveat….cruelty, hatred, and meanness.
Looking out at the world, we see all manner of cruelty, hatred, and meanness. I know you think I am going to say, It is alright to judge people who suck. They are low hanging fruit, right? They shoot up movie theaters. They bully our children. They do all manner of un-Godly things. They are adulterers and wife beaters. Can’t we judge them, at least? Well sure we can. I do all the time. I can’t help it. I am human. You are too. But, what if…what if, we worked really really hard to do exactly what Jesus said in the Bible. That is we work to not judge them. We take a practical look at whatever shit storm of a situation we come in contact with and we find the victims and try ease their suffering. Then, take a look at the people who it is so easy to judge, and do what?
27 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.
32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full.35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
So, how does that inform judgment? It informs you because you aren’t supposed to be looking out at the world thinking of all the crap that other people are doing…counting the wrongs….because would you want somebody doing that to you? Absolutely NOT!! When you see an enemy, or you want to scream, “but you mistreated me.” “but…but…you slapped me.” “You did wrong. You stole my coat.” You aren’t supposed to judge them. You are supposed to do what to your enemies? Love them.
Does judgement mean that you don’t think a person has done wrong?
Kind of yes…Kind of no.
Of course you realize that there is something going on where someone is hurt and in pain. You can reach out and try to alleviate the suffering. So, to that extent, you have to make some assessment that there is pain. You also have to have an understanding of what is going on and how the people are getting to the place of pain so that you can help to make the situation end.
Kind of no, though…because if you are not helping…get your judgment out of the mix. It isn’t helping anyone. Judging people rarely take their mean-spirited judgments and turn them around to helping the people they see down-trodden. If they were eagerly engaged in that enterprise, they wouldn’t have the time or inclination to judge. “If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”
― Mother Teresa
Heck, even writing this, I am convicted. I know people, in particular I judged that I ought to have loved. Believe me. It is hard…I want to feel justified in my judgments. If it were easy, we wouldn’t even need to say it.
How does being Judgey McJudger relate to the gift of prophesy?
Everything and nothing. That is where this whole ball of judgmental wax started. The query was posited as to whether having the spiritual gift of prophesy gives one some sort of license to judge others. You know, because you have a direct hotline to the Papa upstairs, you have to judge. You have to be able to look at a person, or group of people and relate the Word to their action. If you are a prophet, you have to be able to judge a groups sinfulness and call them to repentance.
I call BS!!
My problems with this start at the very beginning. I am very skeptical of the label of “prophet” for a number of reasons. I grew up being judged by a church leader who took full advantage of me and other girls because he had license to “judge” us. God, supposedly, endowed him with the power of revelation and prophesy for his designated group he presided over. I have done a great deal of thinking on revelation and prophesy and I reserve judgement at large. There may be a time or place where God may decide to give the gift of prophesy to a person. I don’t know when that might be.
What I do know is that calling out the gift of prophesy is DANGEROUS!
Why? because prophets need to be vetted by the community. People with the gift of prophesy have that gift to make God’s will known to the body of the Church. If there is a prophet in our midst, we all…as a community….should know the identity of the prophet and the nature of their prophesies.
What is the “gift of prophesy”? I saw many sites give many definitions (this is part of the danger). The best one that didn’t stray in any one direction or the other was this: (emphasis added)
“These messages can take the form of exhortation, correction, disclosure of secret sins, prediction of future events, comfort, inspiration, or other revelations given to equip and edify the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 14:3-4, 24-25). Again, they do not constitute the authoritative Word of God, but are the human interpretation of the revelation that was received. They are spoken in human words through a human mind which is why they must be tested against the Scriptures (1 Thessalonians 5:20-21).”
Even the Mormons don’t make a secret about prophesy and revelation. When a person prophesies out of the particularly designated hierarchy, it is a clear sign that it is likely a false prophesy. Without the vetting of the community, a judgmental person designated with the gift of prophesy could say or think or do just about anything and feel like they have some special connection with God and the righteous outrage that they should harbor their judgments. When a leader designates a person as having the gift of prophesy, right or wrong, the pronouncement ought to be “tested” so that we…can hold fast to “what is good” in their “prophesy.”
It is like telling a person that they are smarter or better than the rest of the congregation….but worse. Saying that this person or that person has the gift of prophesy may mean one thing for you but may have completely different and larger implications for others, including the person who has the supposed gift.
I guess I have to evaluate what this all means for me and my life. Maybe I will reach out to others in my larger spiritual community. Judge it….