Why is Jesus so adamant about us not judging? And why does he connect it to being judged ourselves? Is he simply reminding us of a universal truth: What you give is what you get? Or is there a deeper lesson behind this teaching? If we spend our time and energy judging others, judging the world around us, we will find that attitude becomes a habit. That inner voice that judges and criticizes others will one day turn on itself, judging us, criticizing us, souring our every joy and achievement with criticism and self-recrimination. Nothing we have or do will ever be good enough. And doesn’t that sound a little bit like hell?
You who came into the world not to judge it, but to save it,
grant me the humility to “judge not,”
and let me know the peace of not being judged, even by myself.
I offer you this day, and ask that you quiet my inner voice
and that you open my eyes to the wonder and gift of all creation.
Today, if you find yourself beginning to criticize or judge yourself or someone else, as soon as you realize what you are doing, take a deep breath and raise your finger to your lips. Hush that critical voice inside of you with this little gesture. Then ask God to let you see that person or yourself through the lens of love. You will find God’s love is contagious, and once we let ourselves become “infected” by it, there is no turning back.