I looked up the word “judge” and tons of articles about the Bible teaching us not to judge appeared. Then a few more interesting pieces of research…saying that some people like to throw certain verses around to cover up whatever they were doing. At this point, I was getting warmer, but still didn’t quite find the point I wanted to make. So, in a nutshell, I want to tell you if you have commented saying that “We shouldn’t judge x,y,z” the truth is, you just judged. By feeling like you had to make that comment, yes, you could have held back, but you didn’t, you just judged the other person and felt you knew enough about them or the story to make that comment. The truth is, you sized them up and whatever the meaning was behind their words, off just a snippet of conversation.
So what can we do instead of trying to berate another person publicly?
- Don’t comment “bait”. It’s just not helpful nor is it appropriate on someone’s status. They are entitled to make their status update about whatever it is they want to. Sure, there are TONS of people out there who LOVE to share, comment, and make ridiculous posts. I get it. I do. Unlike. Unfollow. Unfriend. <<< poof. It’s like magic.
- Do you really know this person at all? As one gal said to me recently when trying to justify something that appeared on the book of face, what do we really know about anyone out there? Stop and consider this a moment before you comment. Have you ever had a conversation with this person in real life? Face to face? In a message? On the phone? Skyped with them perhaps? If the answer is no, you honestly have no basis on which to use your word of the day. You have no real frame of reference.
- Think about what was triggered inside of you. Why do you feel the need to comment? Take a step back and notice if it’s because it is a behavior you recently fought hard to push down in yourself. Maybe you have even had the same thought this person had, but quickly pushed it away so now it makes you mad. The emotions that it triggered made you realize you really don’t have a handle on your “stuff”. So it scared you.
- Your negative reaction stems from anger, jealousy or perhaps envy. This one is hard for those of us who are constantly working to reel in our “stuff”. As we try harder and harder to change our thought patterns, and work on our spiritual self, we start to notice when the ego side of us rears it’s head…and then we get in this thought pattern “ugly cycle”. Like it’s stuck on rinse, but not working. Say “Oh that’s an interesting feeling.” I am going to just notice it, and breathe deeply for a count of 5 and see what happens when I allow myself to release it. The trick here is to see if you can release it, so visualize the emotion being released like a balloon in the sky and floating away.
- Try to use “discernment” instead. Discernment is awareness/understanding without the emotional response, and often it is there, but buried under the emotional response first. So when we work to remove the emotional piece like we did above, what are we left with? Hopefully a clearer picture that is not as biased.
As with any journey, learning more about ourselves and what pushes our buttons can ultimately help us understand our fellow man. What we have to learn to do, is pause and reflect before we rise and react. ~Aimee Halpin