It’s difficult not to be critical when I see someone misbehaving, treating others badly or acting like they are the only one that matters. It has become my practice to try to replace being condemning with a thought like, “you don’t know what this person has gone through to get to here or how hard their life is. Just say a silent quick prayer for them and move on”.
To judge others is to bring judgement to myself. The more I am critical about people the more I train myself to be hard on me! My discovery with intentionally trying not to judge others is I have become less critical of me. It has become apparent that the same disapproving part of me used to condemn others is the same part that can be hyper-critical about myself. That way of seeing was in fact polishing a mirror I used to judge myself.
If we knew the cards and crosses
Crowding ’round our neighbor’s way,
If we knew his little losses,
Sorely grievous day by day,
Would we then so often chide him
For his lack of thrift and gain?
Casting on his life a shadow
Leaves on his heart a stain?
If we knew the silent story
Quivering through some hearts of pain,
Would our human hearts dare doom them
Back to haunts of guilt again?
Life has many a tangled crossing,
Joy has man a change to woe;
And the cheeks tear-washed are whitest,
As the blessed angels know.
Let us reach into our hearts,
For the key to others’ lives,
And with love to erring nature,
Cherish good that still survives;
So that when our disrobed spirits
Soar to realms of light again,
We may say, dear Father, judge us
As we judged our fellow-men.
I am far from perfect and find myself judging and casting shadows on others more often than I wish. But I am grateful more often than not I catch myself. I redirect my thinking realizing that every time I condemn someone else, I am in fact setting me up judge myself.
Judgement prevent us from seeing
the good that lies beyond appearances.