This morning as I was doing some reading something really stood out to me. Kaitie Stoddard said, “Our judgement is flawed, and our scales are not always calibrated to the kingdom of God.”
This is actually a topic that has been on my mind a lot the last six to eight months. You see, in our daily interactions with people at work, church, or even the grocery store…we can cast judgement on someone. The thing about judgment is that it is SERIOUS. We should and always have to use judgement in our lives, but when we do, we should think seriously about what and who we are judging. Judging should not be done on a whim or with the flick of a wrist in the direction of a mom who looks like she hasn’t showered in days. My own personal truth is that most days when I am preparing breakfast—Coen eats off of the kitchen floor. Not literally, but he will be eating a bowl of cereal or some bit of toast or pancake off of a bowl on the floor right next to my feet. Most of these words I type to you are usually with him crawling all over me, putting his foot or his chubby little fingers all over my laptop. I wouldn’t have it any other way. But most people probably don’t think about those things when they see my photos of pancakes or a new blog post.
Judgment means that we understand the full magnitude of the situation, of that persons reality. It means that we know that they are in the wrong, right, or somewhere in between. But often times, there is absolutely no way we could know those things with 100% certainty. Only God can. Some people who are very, very close to us (our children and our spouses) we can absolutely judge them. Recently I had to get on to Coen for something in the car, and I turned around and he shook his finger at me and told me “No, no!” Well then…I was able to cast judgement in that situation because I was in his presence and I knew he was acting in a mean way whether he did it on purpose or not. But often times we are not in the presence of people enough to cast judgment like this.
The thing that has come into my mind over the past few weeks is that in a lot of ways we will come to a conclusion about people without fully thinking through that conclusion. Aspects of your relationship with that person might change and distance might be spread between you. But at the end of the day, if they are a brother or sister in Christ…everything will fall away. That is not to say that we can be best friends with everyone. Because we can’t. But what it does mean, is that we need to be quicker to forgive than we are to judge.
It also means we should spend more time face to face with people. It is so easy to feel like you know someone with the technology we have at our fingertips. But the truth is that often what we see through these screens is not the reality of the situation at all. But meeting someone face to face can allow us to connect, fellowship, and understand their journey.
This was a very hard lesson for me to learn. But God put on my heart that if he can love me enough to forgive me daily, then I should offer the same love, grace, and forgiveness to others. That I should not cast judgment to them because I am not walking in their shoes. I should instead pray for them, show them love in any small way I can, and show them the grace God gives me every day in all circumstance.