do we judge?

that one is a tough one for me, because i think we over use the word; yet i think we judge all the time. i mean, i am willing to own the fact that i judge everyday - i like pepsi over coke, i like veggies over red meat, i like nice people over mean hearted people; i judge all the time, and we all do. we all like one kind of thing over another, and i can live with that; yet i ask myself at what point to we stop judging?

if a homeless person knocked on your door and asked to use the phone because they heard of a place that would give them shelter, food and a job but they needed to call to make an appointment, would you let them in? would you think it was a scam to get into the house and into your life? now, what if a well dressed man knocked on the door and asked to use your phone so they could call the tow club because their car brok down; would you let them in? could they enter your home and use the phone? then ask youself, what limits would you place on each person. how far would you be willing to go to help either person? is that judgement, or a simple seclection between what you liked and what you did not?

what would you do and say to a teen mother looking for help because shs just found out she made the same mistake her mother made 14 years ago, and she will become a mother herself? what do you tell a junky who is looking for money to help get their life straight, or buy a shot from the next dealer who comes along? what do you tell the elderly women who buys cat food because it is cheaper then tuna? how about the child who can not get meds because he was born in another land, and his father brought him here to help cut your lawn? what do you say to the little girl seeking love, because her father left her and creeps on just a keypad away? in how many ways do we judge? how many times do we cliam to "make a selection" because we can not help all people? how many times do we misquote the words of jesus that "the poor will be with you always" to justify not doing anything?

sometimes it is hard to know where judgement ends and selection begins, and maybe that is what God is wanting. not that we know, but that we live in and own the tention - and strive to find a place where we feel in our hearts we are not judging.

when we speak in the emerging church about what it is that we are, i would like the conversation to flow to us knowing we are a loving people, caring people, and judgless people who can see past the idea of class, race, sexuality, skin, income and all the other stuff the world uses to judge people - i am truly less concerned with theology, and so much more concerned with the words we use about other people.

1 comment:

kevin h said...

In our modernist, literalist, close-minded reading of scripture, we've made too much and too little of the word "judge." Of course we all judge things and actions and behaviors and truths all day long. The difference between us and God is not that we do not judge, but that we do not condemn. Where scripture says "judge not," the contextual meaning is really "condemn not."