Monday, June 20, 2011

“If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”

"This year, or this month, or, more likely, this very day, we have failed to practise ourselves the kind of behaviour we expect from other people." – (C. S. Lewis The Case for Christianity)

Gospel text (Mt 7,1-5):
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Stop judging, that you may not be judged.
For as you judge, so will you be judged,
and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you.
Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye,
but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye?
How can you say to your brother,
‘Let me remove that splinter from your eye,’
while the wooden beam is in your eye?
You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your eye first;
then you will see clearly
to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye.”

Do not judge. This is such a simple command given to us by God, but so difficult for us to follow. As I reflect on my days I like to think that I don’t judge others and that I am always doing the best I can to truly love my neighbor. Many times I would probably even say that I make it through a day without judging anyone else. But then I stop and think, realizing that speaking words to a person isn’t the only way to judge someone. I can easily get caught up in thinking the wrong things about my neighbors, whether it is judging them for the way they dress, dwelling on a past incident, or maybe just stereotyping someone. There are so many ways that I find myself falling short of loving others.

I find it very important to take time to find what is wrong in my own life that I need to take care of. It can be so easy to see what another person might be doing wrong, but if I continually point out the faults of others, I have no time to realize that I need to fix things about myself as well.

Jesus said: «Do not judge and you will not be judged» (Mt 7:1). But Jesus had also said that we are to correct our sinful brother, and to do that we have got to previously make some kind of judgment. In his writings, St. Paul does judge the Corinthian community and St. Peter condemns Ananias and his wife Sapphira for falsehood. Because of that, St. John Crisostom explains: «Jesus is not saying we cannot prevent a sinner from sinning; we have to correct him, indeed, though not as the enemy seeking revenge but, rather, as a doctor applying the cure». It seems, therefore, our judgment should be mostly made with an aim to mend, not to take revenge.

Mother Teresa certainly said it best when she said we can’t love others if we are judging them, and God has called us to love everyone. Knowing this, the decision to not judge should be easy. We either choose to obey or disobey God and by loving others, we love him. I know I certainly don’t want to not love God and disobey. I know many times I think that if I don’t put thoughts into words it isn’t as bad, but God knows our thoughts. I certainly want to do my best to think about my thoughts and make sure that what I think about others is loving.

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