Easy to judge, hard to love

It must be that judging others comes naturally to us as humans, or perhaps is a habit easily acquired. Because it is no work to judge someone else, really. It is so simple and effortless, we can do it sitting down. We can even judge others without personally engaging with the subject matter or people involved. We can do it without research! It only takes a headline to brew our heated condemnation.

When I’ve judged others, I’ve felt like I’ve worked, though. I’ve felt good about the “balance” I’ve set aright with my views. I’ve felt justified in my dismissals. I’ve felt the emotional rush of my well-crafted opinions. Yes, there is satisfaction in judging others that would lead me to believe I have accomplished work. But I shouldn’t be deceived that there are rewards that extend beyond my own gratification. Truthfully, even those are fake rewards – a deception that breeds destruction.

The true rewards come when I open my heart to others, when I love first instead of judge, when I engage in a posture of grace. This is no easy habit, but it is worthy work.

I was reminded of this when I read an old Facebook status of mine posted 8 years ago, a quote from Deitrich Bonhoeffer. It struck me then and fresh again today.

Judging others makes us blind, whereas love is illuminating. By judging others, we blind ourselves to our own evil and to the grace which others are just as entitled to as ourselves.

Lord, help us love.

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