Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Judgment

No one likes to think they are judgmental, but the fact is- many of us are. We think things about people we see, hear, read about or even encounter tangentially. Regrettably, people do this to us as well. Think about yourself on a really bad day- someone may have that one encounter with you, which will ever color their impression of the kind of person you are.

My sister and I sometimes use a rhyme we swiped from another source. We know (and acknowledge) that we are having a judgmental conversation, we occasionally say, "Judgy-wudgy was a bear..." This is a major corruption of the children's rhyme "Fuzzy Wuzzy", but it is useful within our conversations.

However, judgment can be a bear- one that claws at your own sense of self and personal understanding. When you actually think about what you're doing, it causes internal pain because being judgmental is probably not how you picture yourself. Similar to our discussion of the retention of sins yesterday, judgment eats away at you more that the person you're judging.

We can't always help the thoughts that come to our mind, but we can work on how we respond to them and how they control us. Say a prayer for the person you see begging. See if you can help a person struggling with a door or packages. Think before you speak to someone you know well. All of these things are good to do for other people, but also good to do for ourselves... we feel better when we do good things than when we don't.

We know that we do nothing to earn our salvation and it is the work of the Holy Spirit we are able to believe in that gift. However, sometimes when we are nice to someone else, when we turn away from the bear of judgment, we are able to behold the joy of our salvation in our hearts. The goodness we feel in our hearts is, in part, a small reflection of the love and joy God holds out for us.

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