I think people have different areas in which they are especially prone to judge. A very disciplined athlete probably has to fight judging the gluttonous couch potato. The lifelong teetotaler might be tempted to pass judgment on the socialite who imbibes too much. As for me, I am prone to judge atheists. Not only does the Christian faith make so much logical sense to me, not only does the coherent message of the Bible resonate with me so completely, I really have a hard time understanding how anyone could think life just happened. Giving birth, watching the stars come out on a clear night, skiing in the mountains, playing in the ocean — these experiences leave me awestruck, totally humbled and convinced there is a God. I don’t understand how people can embrace a truly full life and deny an Almighty. Of course, I’m not suggesting I’ve got it all figured out because I don’t. We’ll always have unanswered questions. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t need faith.
And the Bible certainly doesn’t condone any propensity to judge, not mine, not the athlete’s, not the teetotaler’s. Each of us is called to follow Christ’s example and be loving to all. There are no excuses or exceptions. Love is the standard. Besides, I grew up surrounded by people of faith; a biblical perspective is part of the fabric of my being. Without my heritage of faith, I might not have looked at my newborn quite the same way, or marveled quite so much that a few minutes before that little miracle of a person was inside of me.
But while it is not my job or yours to judge, judgment is coming. Sometimes we focus so much on the fact that God is love that we nearly forget that God is also truth. And the Bible says that “since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities — his eternal power and divine nature — have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” (Romans 1: 20) In essence this verse is saying that Creation itself should launch a sort of quest to find and know God.
Sadly, we can all think of various ways that followers of Christ impede this quest. May we reflect and pray this week that being judgmental isn’t one of them.