Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Judgment Day

I have been thinking a lot about how others view me – and how I view others. One rallying cry that I hear is "No one can judge me." Well, pardon my French, but that's a load of crap. As the radio advertisement says, "People do judge us by the . . . . ." and it drones on to give examples. What was that advertisement about, and did it reach me? Hmmmmmmmm.

I make judgments all of the time. "I can't believe she is wearing that blouse with that skirt." Judgment.

"Oh, how I hate that witch. She came in 30 minutes late today and the manager did not catch her, again." Judgment.

"Food stamps. You must be lazy." Judgment.

People have the right to judge, or even if they don't, they judge anyway.

If have said before, either in this blog or as a response to someone else on their blog, that one of my favorite passages in the Bible concerns judgment – or more accurately the danger of focusing on judgment.

Matthew 7:1-5
Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me remove the speck from your eye'; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.

I am not a Bible scholar – don't pretend to be one – but I have my own opinions about what I read. I think Jesus is warning us against putting down others in order to make ourselves feel special and closer to God. For me, I have many faults, and at this point in my life, I find it more productive to focus on improving me rather than pointing out the faults of others.

In time, perhaps, I will gain some wisdom and will be able to help others when called to do so.

A grey day. Sorry the subject does not lighten it today.


ken said...

GREAT subject...very appropriate for me today..i am also a blogger on yahoo360..perusing friends of friends...came across a girl struggling with hubby issues...abuse, drunkeness..she was venting...some jerk responded with venom...called himself a lover of god and jesus...nothing but poison...i responded, kindly mind you, realizing it was futile..yet compelled to offer him another are is human nature to jdge, to "size" up others..first impressions....i temper mine with the end..what truly matters is the person inside the body....forget this earthsuit, the clothes, the temporal give is our privilege to help those in need...ridiculing others only highlights our own insufficiencies...GREAT blog leesa!!!

Long Iron said...

Sometimes the best topics are posted on grey days; such as this one.

Are we not our own biggest judges. When we look in the mirror every morning, what kind of off hand comments do we make about ourselves? Do we like what we see? What would we change, if indeed we could change anything about ourselves? Before we feel that anybody is judging us, we have already overjudged ourselves. I agree with Ken on the aspect of judging others. What we find is we are actually deflecting upon another person the exact things we fear to be judged upon ourselves. It serves no purpose other than to give us a sense of false pride.

"We can never judge the lives of others, because each person knows only their own pain and renunciation. It's one thing to feel that you are on the right path, but it's another to think that yours is the only path."
~Paulo Coelho

Sassy said...

thank you Leesa. what a great post.

Leesa said...

Crap - here I am thinking I just pushed out a bad post, and the first responses were so thought-out and kind.


Video X said...

i am not a good judge. never claim to be. dont want to be. not to say that i have never gossiped or judged or anything like that...i have...but i try to keep it as minimal as possible? i'd be the biggest hypocrite (sp?) on earth if i judged someone for soemthing they've done...given the things i've done! i'd be sent straight to hell. the other key is the people i keep company with. the less judgemental, the easier i find it to be around them...and the less i do jerkface things. less stressful, more fun...etc. good subject :)

BossMack said...

Flow and Glow babygirl!

Thomas said...

Those who judge you are idiots: Unless they have lived your life and thought what you have thought then have no basis in saying jack squat.

We make mistakes in life.

We also recover from them and deal with the consequences.

Some mistakes are huge and we feel guilty for them, but that is a private guilt to be worked out with the people and deities involved.

An outsider has no business judging you if you do not ask for judgement.

But as an unsolicited judge: You're a good person with flaws like everyone. You're a gem in the world of stone.

Prata said...

The type of judgment you seem to be speaking about is really rather shallow in nature don't you think? Not to insult or drive out an agitated response, but think about this for a moment. stamps...dislike for another because they have gotten away with something. These are all very physical and non-observant issues. These are things that largely, people do in order to make themselves feel better about something. You've read No the Game, the sort of judgment being discussed there is a little more deep seated than that.

Do people judge others by meaningless things such as the clothes they wear and the way they pay for their food? Sure they do, but this sort of spontaneous judgment is a bit touching on the subject of stereotyping...not necessarily judgment. Unless you are discussing the judgment of what stereotype you plan on assigning the individual in question.

The Bible I don't think is the best place to go looking for ways to treat people, but we won't get into that, as I'm not a christian (although in e-mail I'm perfectly happy to discuss it I'm well read on the works in either version).

What exactly do you judge from a person (that she is a witch, for instance) when they arrive late again and don't get caught. What exactly does this person being a witch have to do with their coming late and not getting caught? The answer you're looking for logically doesn't lead to the person, it speaks (faintly) of jealousy of some kind. Why does she get away with it when I do not? If anything, the logical process should lead you to be displeased with the boss (unless I'm reading that statement in correctly) as this boss is not properly following management tactics. It's not really a judgment as it is misplaced anger. Just as an example of course.


Leesa said...

Vid X: I am fairly judgmental myself. Something I am constantly working on. I see people with incredible talents - and I want them to make the most of their gifts. So I judge them as wasteful. I don't want to, but that's what pops in my head.

Thomas: Not sure if those who judge me or idiots or not. Their judgment doesn't really bother me. As I have said before, I enjoy looking at people. I look at people in line in the grocery store - and if a child is acting up, you would not believe the sour expressions on faces. I don't know anything about being a good parent, but applaud parents who say "no" to every impulse that their children have.

As for me, some mistakes affect others, and after beating oneself up because it feels good, one has to make amends to the one's you hurt.

prata: You are right. I am shallow and non-observant. And I prattle on so.

Bert Ford said...

Leesa, If blogs are not for prattle what are they for?

How about:

You can't be insulted by someone who's opinion you don't respect.

The sting of the insult is in the truth.

Food stamps don't bother me.
People offering to trade them to me for cash does.

Anyway, judging is fun.
I judge all the time.
If you can honestly in the pit of your soul not care what others think of you, then you can revel in your hypocrisy.

Prata said...

And I never at any point said that you were shallow or unobservant. I stated that the type of judgment in particular you were citing contained those two qualities. That is not the same thing, it just doesn't really penetrate the nature of the judgment. It also doesn't go to the core of the reason one would judge in that manner either. It was simply what it was, a passing glance of judgment that doesn't follow true logical thought.

That is not to say that you as a person are either unobservant or shallow. I thought I was fairly clear about that.

KyuBall said...

I've got to agree with Bert on this one. I'll expand a bit from my angle...

Everyone judges. If they say they don't then they're lying. Human's can't help's what we do.

Being jackasses about it is also our specialty.

kathi said...

I've always been a good 'judge' of charachter (kind of like a dog, lol), but I don't judge the person. The Word tells us to judge the action, not the person. The person can always be prayed for and saved and the action can always be forgiven. Only God will judge the person.
Besides, when I'd do prison ministry, all I could think of was 'but by the Grace of God I'm not right there beside them' because trust me, with my's true.

Yoga Korunta said...

Too bad more of us don't share Leesa's wisdom.

Grant said...

Oh, goody. I get to play devil's advocate. Here are some other passages in the bible about judging others:

Paul the Apostle: "But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ." (1 Cor. 2:15‑16)

Jesus: "Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment." (John 7:24)

So, we can conclude that the bible tells us not to judge others. Or maybe that we should judge others if we do it right. Or maybe we should leave it all up to Pat Robertson and blindly follow his example. Or maybe Earnest Angely.

I hope this clears matters. Personally I recommend getting a better book for your moral compass, like Stephen King's Hearts in Atlantis.

Playing devil's advocate by quoting jebus. Gotta love the irony.

Prata said...

*cracks up* Okay, that was funny. Not that it should be a religious debate, but choosing a religion as your moral compass always always puts you at odds with a certain amount of the population, because those people that do not follow/have faith in the dogma of (insert your religion here) are typically considered degenerate and liable to go to (insert your religion's place of punishment here).

Religious texts are always colored with the language of their environment as well, and this leads to certain discrepencies about what is and is not acceptable then and in current day. This can be seen (in a non-religious example) in the way the world works today. What is polite and okay in Viet Nam is not necessarily polite or okay in America...or Japan. And the same is true for the reverse. If you can separate the issue out then you see that, "What's cool for Paul isn't cool for Jintao".

Leesa said...

bert ford: Don't take this the wrong way, but you remind me of some theologian who just so happens to get a lot of p-word on the side. I really don't care what many people think.

And the food stamps - I used to see this drug dealer that would pay for groceries with them. Rumor has it that he got them as payment for his drugs.

kathi: Lucky you - my judge of character stinks.

yoga: thanks sweets

grant: since the Bible was written by many over a long time, you can find passages that contradict one another. I guess I prefer Pat Robertson's way of using parts of the Bible as his own weapon. And if you can't twist a part in the Bible to suit you, you can throw the Book as your opponent. Thanks for playing Devil, grant.

Leesa said...

prata: You said "choosing a religion as your moral compass always always puts you at odds with a certain amount of the population".

I was under the impression that a moral compass was so valuable because it didn't change over time. Hence the compass part of the phrase. But when you start talking about a population, the public changes its views over time. It just does.

~Deb said...

Leesa: You do not have to be a bible scholar in order to quote a great scripture from the bible! Jesus loves "all of us"---we are all imperfect.

I'm in no way in the position to judge anyone, because I am SO far from perfect.

I am just thankful that there are people like you, who show us that you're down-to-earth, you're not pretending to be all 'holy'----you show us that you're a good person, with a warm heart.

That's my judgment for you. :)

Slut Betty said...

I think how you interpreted that particular passage of the bible is correct... that's my judgement ;-)

Another great post Leesa... thank you!

Prata said...

Yes, I suppose it is correct that a moral compass _should_ be valuable in the fact that it doesn't change over time.

And this is exactly why using the bible as a moral compass is a bad idea. The bible being written over time changed over time. God the killer vs. God the forgiving as an example (first testament to second testament). The christian faith also changed quite a bit over time concerning what is morally reprehinsible and what is not. Every religion has this characteristic, as society changes so does the view of God; however, I'd much prefer to discuss anything related to religion in depth elsewhere (e-mail?) as I'm not a big proponent of starting falme wars based on it and I'm not a christian so I lack the ability of faith that drives believers of christianity/Islam/Judaism, etc.

The goal of my statement though was to point out that using religian as a moral compass immediately puts you at odds with certain rather large portions of the world's population; as many faith based religions as a rule of thumb state: "This is the one true way to salvation and because of this, all others who do not follow the tenets and beliefs and dogma of this system are condemned to suffering and a damned state". Every religion says every other religion is false and the false people will be judged and punished by said religion's deity.

That was all I was attempting to convey.

Leesa said...

prata: I think you missed the point. I was saying that a moral compass should not change over time, but I did not say that one had to use the Bible to find such values. My point that you missed (probably because of the curtness of the answer) was that an unchanging moral compass is easier to achieve when it is one person's compass, not one nation's or one people's compass.

People rarely change over time - in my experience. They really don't change much. All societies change over time.

I am not flaming - I am disagreeing with you.

"God the killer vs. God the forgiving as an example" - sure, God's nature did not change, but we changed how we have viewed God. When you look at the most important aspects of the religion, most religions don't change all that much. How they pray, how they interpret a passage, that may change. But that seems inconsequential in the long run.

Prata said...

A series of unfortunate miscommunications ^_^ I don't think you're flamin'..I just meant that people sometimes take great offense to opposite view points and then it does turn into a flame fest. I respect the fact you can disagree without you know...."losin' it". lol

I get what you're sayin' a little better now and respect that view. Whatever your compass is (for people in general not necessarily you) I think the list of moral behavior is actually very very small. To sum it up, "Be Good." *chuckles*

I don't know that it's inconsequential...the interpretation of passages especially breeds the nature of the religion don't you think? Religion can not exist without people. If people for 50 years interpret any given religion's scripture one way, and it is practiced that way for 50 years that _is_ the religion isn't it? Well in the case of a scripture that would be one small aspect of a religion.

But let's assume in a fictional religion (and this is largely true of any religion out there and their holy texts) that each passage/scripture is related to the previous. That means the interpretation is then carried forward to each subsequent and prior passage/scripture; thus, the changing of interpretation for one passage/scripture necessitates a change of view for the next and the next. This changes the entire religion's outlook for the followers (unless as christianity has done in the past, it forks into a new sect and the two compete for followers). See where I'm goin' with this? It means the religion changes and the views of the followers are enacted on a global scale (assuming a fork does not occur) and the religion takes on a new face. Until there's another widespread change of understanding that is.

As a real life example look at the (some say incorrect) different Muslim interpretations of the Koran. Some call that fanatical, others call that the word of god and that's how they practice their religion by destroy what they perceive is the enemy of their religious code. Is that necessarily wrong? well I supposed that depends on your personal interpretation of the Koran.

Sorry I'm so bleeding wordy lol