If I had a penny for every time I’ve observed a person, situation, or behavior and passed immediate and swift judgement on it, I’d be a rich man. Despite adhering to a religion who’s Scriptures are laden with text chastising its followers for judging others, it seems many of us struggle with this basic commandment. I’ve alluded in other posts that I suspect this is because we’d all prefer a rule-based Christianity because it would be immediately and wholly achievable. In such a world, admonishing others would make more sense – after all, if we knew all the rules, and we could identify those who weren’t following them, why wouldn’t we want to show them the way?
For those of us that follow the traditional church calendar, we recently entered the season of Lent – a season of reflection, fasting, prayer, and repentance. At the beginning of this season (on Ash Wednesday), we remind ourselves of the fragility of the lives we live through flesh and reflect on our own self-worth as our foreheads are marked with ash in the sign of the cross while recite the end of Genesis 3:19:
By the sweat of your face
you shall eat bread,
till you return to the ground,
for out of it you were taken;
for you are dust,
and to dust you shall return.
Though I am sure that I may be overlooking some of the originally intended meaning of this passage, I was hit with a thought that I felt I had to share. Each and every one of us is going to be judged by God on the last day. God alone. The rest of us need to remember that our opinions about other people in this life mean absolutely nothing in the sight of God. We need to remember that we are to be chiefly concerned with our own convictions and recognize that, when we start doing this, we will begin to see the world as God intended – that is, through the eyes of one who loves. It is written:
Matthew 7:1-5 Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.
To anyone out there who has been marginalized, harmed, kicked out of a church, or put down by anyone (especially by someone waving the flag of Christianity) – remember first that you are dust, then remember that every single person who has ever judged you is dust, and to dust we all will return. Their opinions about your life literally amount to nothing at the end of all things. We will be judged by God alone. Let us make our peace with Him.
*Note* This is a heavy edit and re-post of a blog I wrote years ago. I finished college years ago… so I can plagiarize myself, right?