Husband. Dad to 5. Student Ministry Pastor. Follower of Jesus. Yatta yatta.

EVERYBODY JUDGES EVERYBODY

Nobody likes that statement.  But it’s true.  Try as you may to NOT judge others, you WILL do it.  I do it.  We ALL DO IT all the time. Guaranteed.

  • body weight, shape, gender, age  (so and so is fat cuz of this habit)
  • socioeconomic status (that guy drives that car cuz he’s a “rollin’ in it”)
  • religion or faith (only a fool would believe such and such)
  • job  (I shoulda known… that’s surely why they behave like this)
  • passions  (only xyz kind of people like to do that)
  • hobbies  (because they do this, abc is true of them)

And those are just a few of the judgements we make every day.  Some are spoken. Some are merely thought.  Some directly affect our actions and some are so subconscious and ingrained in us that they shape us in ways too subtle to identify directly.

Not by accident,  I’m writing this post on Martin Luther King Jr day in the United States where we honor MLK’s unique contribution to American society and culture.  Much has been and could be said about him… but he has one quote I hold dear and am quick to ponder on a day like this.  It is this from his infamous “I have a dream” speech where he said:

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

i have a dreamAs a father of 5 children with 2 different and “opposite” skin tones, I live this dream daily and am so thankful for the guts, convictions, and faith of the men and women like Dr. King who gave and continue to give their lives and resources in pursuit of racial equality.  I’m literally living this dream all the time in my own home.  But as I pondered his words anew and afresh today, I was reminded that it doesn’t say “I have a dream, that one day, my children will grow up in a nation without judgment.”  It doesn’t say that.  Instead he dreamt of a day when they would be judged by the right things. By God-honoring things.  You see, maybe the problem is not that we judge one another.  The problem is that we make assumptions that we know stuff we don’t know and that we use the wrong standards to judge.  Bottom line, we’re lousy judges.

The truth is, I even judge myself by stupid standards.

  • the shape of my body, especially in comparison to others
  • the amount of money I make in a given context
  • my ability to please people or not
  • my level of “success”
  • the actions and attitudes of my own kids
  • the popularity or lack there of in the things I write or teach

…. and I could go on for days.  I’m a self-professed jacked up judger of myself and others.  Dr. King however dreamt of a day where his own kids would be afforded opportunities and value based on the content of their character.  For him, it was character over color.  He longed for a day when people would judge one another by standards that truly mattered.

So, I think I’ve concluded that

#1. God does and will judge all justly and sovereignly, so I don’t have to.

#2. The only judgment I can trust is the one in which God would agree.

#3. I’m not God and neither are you.

#4. Despite the truth of #3, we all judge and we do so poorly.

#5. I want to care more about embodying a Godly character than I do about giving or receiving the judgment of others.

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