Click for audio: The Truth About Judgment
“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get” (Matthew 7:1-2).
Much has been written about judgment, usually casting it in the unfavorable light of a practice we should avoid. Passing judgment on another, we’re told, is a sure way to reap unwanted consequences. But what if we understand that the motive and actions of another are selfish, disruptive, even potentially harmful to ourselves and others? Do we never say no, but stand in harm’s way, and deal with the fallout as if it’s only our soul’s lesson to learn? Does learning to hold our peace while getting trampled earn us points in heaven?
I have devised a question that may help sort through this very common type of situation: Am I protecting a weakness, or am I advancing a strength? Am I afraid to do what I know is right, or can I do what is right and own the consequences?
While we may think of the ministry of Jesus as a great gift to the world, we should also remember that there were many people who did not want him to continue. Had he capitulated to their short-sighted concerns, he would have been protecting a weakness. His fear would have robbed the world of the gifts he brought. As it happened, he stood his spiritual ground and gave from his greatest place of strength.
Are we to suppose that Jesus advocated neutralizing our faculty of judgment, or was he simply calling attention to the fact that we’re actually judged by our own motive? If we are protecting a weakness, we will perpetuate weakness. If we are advancing from a position of strength, we will contribute to stronger, healthier conditions.
Whatever conclusions we draw from this will set the tone for our experience in life. Judgment is one of our executive faculties and should not be denied. Being clear about the motive from which we exercise this faculty will go a long way toward resolving any confusion about it.
3 thoughts on “The Truth About Judgment”
It is refreshing to read your words on the faculty of judgment; in particular the possibility that Jesus was saying that it is our own motives that will be our judge is a good point to contemplate. What are your thoughts on the re-wording of the faculty of judgment to be the faculty of wisdom?
Thank you for your comment. On your question of re-wording, my own preference would be to keep the word “judgment” neutral. I treat it simply as a faculty that may be used for good or ill, to advance a strength or to protect a weakness. We’re not told how to use it, it’s simply part of our makeup. I belive this is true of all five of our executive faculties: imagination, faith, will, judgment, and elimination. We’re free to point any of them in any direction we choose. But because we reap what we sow, we learn to point them in directions that work for us rather than against us. That is, they work toward the further expression of the soul.
Thanks again for taking the time to comment.
I have always thought of the type of judgment that we are told not to do as finding fault, usually a fault of character or behavior in another. when we do that, others are likely to point out our own similar faults, saying it is a case of the pot calling the kettle black.
Another way of putting this is a common saying in Unity, that we project our own faults onto others.