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Often, in being dishonest about our own faults and failures, we have been far too insensitive and callous toward others who have fallen short. It is really unfair to others becuase all human judgment is partial, one-sided, and superficial.
When we judge others, we must realize that we are also judging ourselves. When we judge another, we are focusing on what is wrong with someone else in an attempt to shield or take the inner spotlight off of what is wrong with us.
A friend was sharing with me the other day how far God has brought Him over the years. He stated that there was a time when he would listen to his pastor's sermon and think about how his wife should be there to hear it as everything the pastor was preaching, he felt, related to her and he wondered why those that he felt needed to hear it, were never present.
He went on to relate how God revealed to him his own pride and slapped him across the face with the knowledge that each sermon he heard was for his ears, not his wife's.
Judging others reveal something unkind about us because we are making assumptions about others based on our distorted perception of what others should be like or how others should behave.
Judging others is the effect of our own ugly pride. Before pointing the righteous finger of accusation at someone else, remember that we all have personal deficits that we must continually work toward improving. The easiest thing in the world to do is find fault and we all know fault finders are a dime a dozen. Remember, we all have some skeletons in our inner closet dangling in wait to be discovered.
When tempted to focus on the shortcomings of others, STOP. Turn the magnifying glass on yourself. What you will see in yourself will temper your perception of others. You will begin to realize that it is not your sister or brother but you, who stand in the need of prayer. Keep in mind that the best scrutinizer of mankind is not man, but God. It is the omniscient God alone whose knowledge is thorough and absolutely just. Only God's judgment is perfect. Let us concentrate on rectifying our own lives and leave the faults of others to God.
Rev. Saundra L. Washington, D.D., is an ordained clergywoman, social worker, and Founder of AMEN Ministries. http://www.clergyservices4u.org. She is also the author of two coffee table books: Room Beneath the Snow: Poems that Preach and Negative Disturbances: Homilies that Teach. Her new book, Out of Deep Waters: My Grief Management Workbook, will be available soon.
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