I judge every single day. There I said it. It’s a fact.
I judge whether I want that second cup of coffee.
I judge how much time it’s going to take me to get to work.
I judge what the weather app is saying my day is going to look like as I look out of the window to see if I believe it or not.
I judge the songs I like vs the ones I don’t. I even judge whether I want to listen to music or listen to podcasts.
I judge what I am going to wear to work while my shower water is warming up, and yes, I put my hand in the water until I judge what the right temperature is….
I judge whether I have enough in the fridge to put a dinner together or whether I have to pull things out of the freezer.
And all of that judgement I just wrote about comes before 8 am. You could say I am very judgmental and you would be right.
And you know what else is true? All of these judgments I have come out of my heart and tell my mind what to think on these things. So when we make statements like, “You shouldn’t judge”, let’s explain exactly what that means because as humans we judge hundreds if not thousands of things every single day. It is silly to make a blanket statement about judgment when it so a part of life.
I judge right from wrong like I judge the color shoes I choose or the color lipstick I wear. So what does it mean not to judge?
It means we don’t judge motive. We don’t know why people do the things they do. We can’t see their heart and if we’re not careful we will judge them by the standards and health of our own heart’s motives and not their own heart’s motives.
That girl who we deem is wearing clothing that is too revealing? Well, maybe she has self esteem issues, maybe she doesn’t know that modesty is different in different scenarios. Maybe she doesn’t have the privilege of a dad who has spoken to her about what is appropriate and what isn’t. So before we go criticizing her for being a stumbling block, which isn’t my viewpoint on the subject at all, but that’s a different post for a different day, maybe we should find out what she knows about social norms of dressing? Before we judge how that person is spending their money, maybe we can determine that if they aren’t borrowing money from us then it really isn’t our business.
Before we go judging the person for doing something on purpose, we should try to understand why they are doing what they are doing from their heart not ours. Last week I had to buy 12 dozen donuts for my employer for an event over the weekend. I got busy and day by day I procrastinated until the day before the event. The day before the event, my boss asked if I took care of ordering the donuts. I admitted I hadn’t. He then went and ordered them for me. Clearly, I didn’t do what was asked of me. Clearly I didn’t. My first instinct was to think he wasn’t being fair and he was being slightly paranoid, “Sheesh! I was going to do it today! He sees how much I have been working.” It was in that moment when I stopped and took that thought captive instead of accusing him or worse poisoning others through gossip. How long should he give me to get my job done before he does it? What if by the time I got there, the shop had closed and the expectation of the team was a let down? Was my boss truly being unfair or was he looking out for the whole or was he doing me a favor because he knew I was overwhelmed?
Motive- mo·tive /ˈmōdiv/ noun 1. a reason for doing something, especially one that is hidden or not obvious.
Judgments. I may not be the only one reading this who makes them all of time. Maybe you do too. I am better at not judging motive anymore since now I know I may never know the reason, especially one that is not obvious. I now know it is unfair to put my impure heart‘s reason on another’s action.