The annual Thanksgiving Day family party was a big success with one exception…yours truly! You see there is such a thing as “too much” fun and in my case “too much” Fireball! As one might expect, too many drinks leads to some rather bizarre behavior, made worse by the advent of Vine videos which, thanks to the marvels of modern technology, allows you to see yourself out of your mind while in your right mind… SMH oh well! Those sketchy memories aside (thankfully) and after a couple of days of self-flagellation, I realized that my errors in judgment weren’t my issue as much as my perceptions of other people’s judgment (or perceived judgment) of me… What must they think of me???
Good question, wouldn’t you agree? I mean how much time do we really spend worrying about what other people might be thinking about us? And maybe not without good reason… We live in a society that thrives (or feeds if you will) on judgment. We judge people for being overweight; for not being as attractive as someone in the media convinced us they should be; for not having enough money (or having too much money); for the color of their skin; for their ethnicity and on it goes into virtual judgment oblivion. There are social expectations, relationship expectations, behavior expectations, moral expectations and religious expectations. And the result? A world of people controlled and terrified of other people’s judgment. And maybe worst of all, a multitude of people paralyzed with the thoughts of Almighty God‘s judgment!
So maybe we ought to try to make some sense out of all that judgment. First, I think if you have lived long enough, you realize that all people have had their moments in the mud and if they haven’t yet, just wait a little bit. Next, if you’ve lived long enough (again) you have been down the slippery path enough to understand that people, being people, often get tripped up in life and even more often when they least expect it (There but for the grace of God, go I). And finally, here’s maybe the most scary part of it all. All of us have a mind that we live inside and as such are completely aware of where our thoughts go at all times. Oh we may have a fantastic public persona, but we also know the stuff that goes through our private minds. Yet somehow we try for all we are worth to keep that private part private because after all, God forbid what would happen to us if people knew who we really are!
So, here’s a thought for your noggin – you know who you are inside (which I’m guessing doesn’t really vary that much for most of us) and for that reason alone might want to decide to give up on judgment! (LOL) Judgment is a losers game which, while appearing to make you feel a bit superior for a moment, only ends with your own feeble attempt to justify your own insanity by pointing out the insanity of others. Saying someone is ugly never made you prettier. Calling someone an idiot won’t add to your IQ. And, no matter how thin you might get, it will never make up for the insecurity you feel inside. You see, judgment only serves to turn us into critical Pharisees, who while interacting personally with the Messiah, could not conceive that he was who he said he was because their eyes were blinded to “true love” and instead only saw the flaws they trained themselves to see. And while I’m at it, God Himself who saw the evil results of judgment sent us a Savior to “once and for all ever set us free” from the potential to be judged! So, of course there is a better way to live…
The best way to live is devoid of all judgment. (Maybe give it up for lent -ha) Just stop doing it. Does that mean you must excuse bad behavior? Of course not! Instead acknowledge the “bad behavior” but decide to love the person behind it. And, are you deciding to love them based upon your ranking scale concerning the badness of their behavior? No, unless you are okay with the same ranking scale! (Haha – side-note, somehow in your own mind your bad won’t be as bad as “their” bad!) Just let people be people. Let them bloody their own noses. They don’t need your lecture, they need your love because their nose is already bleeding! Why not be that person they know never judges them and in so doing, give them a little slice of heaven while they are still on earth. Imagine that – heaven is a place people go to because they chose to believe in God’s Savior rather than choosing to believe in the ever sliding scale of good behavior!
You and I don’t ever have to be afraid of people’s judgment! Oh sure they are going to judge us still, but at the end of the day, it’s what God thinks that matters and He already forgave us for every whacky thing we ever got caught up in! Yes folks, it’s that big!
So is this about a man feeling bad for being “that guy” at his own house party? Nah, don’t you believe it! This is about freedom from the fear and bondage of judgment that runs the whole world. Shoot, I ain’t scurrrred! How about you?
Just some good “judgment free” thoughts…