Freedom From Judgment

Roan Highland Mountain, TN

Roan Highland Mountain, TN

We all do it.  Some do it quietly in unexpressed thoughts and others do it with a loud bang.  You know what I am talking about.  Making  judgments about others.  I regretfully have been a part of the chorus of making judgments on people and have expressed them when it would have been better for all parties involved that  I kept my mouth shut.  I recently told someone during a heated exchanges that words are like boomerangs.  They come back to haunt you.  Needless to say, I hit a raw nerve with that person because we all know eating humble pie leaves a bitter after taste you won’t soon forget!  One needs to be mindful of how our judgments impact others without our  knowing it.  It is important to understand the difference between critique and criticism namely the spirit in which it is done.  A critique is an accepted and established process of orderly, scholarly and public debate.  Criticism is the act of passing severe judgment; censure; faultfinding.  One is constructive and provides a person with much needed information to improve what they are undertaking.  The other is hurtful and destructive and meant to do damage.

On more than one occasion, I’ve passed judgment without knowing all of the facts and have been quite embarrassed when the true facts came to light.  I have learned to make a concerted effort to get all the facts and hear all of the sides before I jump to a conclusion.  When I do this, I am able to empathize with people more.  I am able to see things from their perspective.  Not all circumstances are black and white, but clearly fall into a gray area.  When I reserve judgment my overused, analytical mind can rest from drawing erroneous conclusions.  It allows me to sit back and relax as the story unfolds.  It also helps my relationships with others in that I am more approachable and my presence is not synonymous with snap judgments and critical speech.

The Bible admonishes us to be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger.  Good advice for all of us to put into practice.

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