Click Map for Details

Flag Counter

Friday, March 14, 2014

Release from Judgement

Luke 6:37-38
The Message (MSG)

 “Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults—unless, of course, you want the same treatment. Don’t condemn those who are down; that hardness can boomerang. Be easy on people; you’ll find life a lot easier. Give away your life; you’ll find life given back, but not merely given back—given back with bonus and blessing. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity.”

John 3:16-17
New Living Translation (NLT)

“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.

Would you rather be a movie director or a movie critic? Why? (Serendipity Bible 10th Anniversary Edition, page 1444).

Certainly most every profession requires, at a minimum, a certain level of self-criticism.  Would I want anyone serving me--be it doctor, mechanic, or minister--who never asked himself "Is there anything I'm not doing that I should be doing, or doing better?"  (For example, if I write blogs, do I use "himself" to the extent that I seem to exclude women?)  Clearly to be generous to ourselves in striving for our own best interest as well as that of others, we must--to the extent possible--evaluate objectively the quality of service we are rendering.  This implies that we will be free to find things that are commendable "as is" as well as those areas that need improvement.

I think what Jesus is asking us to do is not to become put-down artist who incessantly and reflexively find ourselves and only ourselves the solitary gold standard.  This loss of objectivity and self-awareness signals profound and troubling personality issues that can be hurtful to everyone, including ourselves.  In other words, Jesus is calling us to a fairness wrought of empathy combined with objectivity.  A helpful way of seeing this is that we should strive for the self-awareness of discernment rather than the self-absorbency of judgment.  (A useful distinction suggested by Shirzad Chamine in Positive Intelligence, page 65).

(I have elsewhere discussed the propensity to judge as a facet of the fundamental attribution error.)

Print Page