This is a topic that needs to be expressed.
“Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.” (Matt 7:1-2)
Why is this teaching of importance? It lays the foundation for the way we are to judge our ways – and also it’s recompense if used in a way that is ‘un-even’. It is basically the idea ‘treat others how you want to be treated’ encapsualted in another form – both a gift and a warning.
The gift is the ability to be able to judge our lives compared to the teachings and make the best decisions we see possible. We will develop standards by which we live our lives and those will reflect onto our neighbor – and it’s best we develop a great working standard.
The warning is quite clear – how we judge – it will be used back against us – which is fair and equitable if you think about it. But it also lets us into the problem with judging based on a ‘less than well rounded’ perspective…we will be held in the same measure in other’s eyes.
The process works, from my living of it anyways, we always get what we put into something. If I judge you without knowing the full scenario (or not hearing all angles of the problem at hand) – then the judgment is bound to be skewed and off-centre. It is better to not judge at all than to say something – if you ask me.
But respect is also part of the process – if we are kind in what we do – people will ask our opinions and seek us out for help…because we are respected in their eyes. You do not get there by using measures and standards that are un-just and un-even – you get there by hearing all sides of a story and reserving an opinion until asked. Also what actions do we take on behalf of the person asking – that is truly the fulfillment of this idea.
My family has a pastor friend that used to be very close to us – in fact – we all respected him for his guidance and his wisdom. Now, that same pastor – years later – has words that are hollow and dull – without much meaning or authority. How did he get there? It’s quite easy – his judgments on certain people and on various scenarios were quite skewed and not just. As he earned his respect he also was able to lose it. He made judgments on scenarios where he did not hear the whole story – but the one he wanted to hear.
That’s what I learned about life – we are to people the authority they will allow of us. I think this is something Jesus understood quite well – he was ‘given’ authority – it was not something he conjured up – being given it was like earning it. That’s why Jesus could give a teaching like this in the first place – because he must of knew we all get what we deserve for our treatment of others…and if we do this right – people will want to ask us questions out of respect.
And this is the reason, in the blog world, I respect a lot of people opinions and what they have to say – because they have proven themselves to me as people worthy of being shared with. I think of Yael, my Jewish friend, and her words of wisdom and her valuable teachings on the Tanakh – a perspective on their texts I cannot find in the Christian realm…and she has always treated me with kindness and decency. Many of the bloggers here are like that – we respect one another – even in our disagreeances – we can still shake hands and laugh together. I am thankful to be surrounded by such people.
“You shall walk in all the way which the LORD your God has commanded you, that you may live and that it may be well with you, and that you may prolong your days in the land which you will possess” (Deut 5:33)
Maybe the commandments and teachings are about life – and how we seek it and recieve it.