August 23, 2009
You judge by human standards. I judge no one. John 8:15
The commentary has a little footnote over the 'standards' that remarks "according to the flesh." In our contemporary society, could we read this as "don't judge a book by it's cover" ?
For me, it brings up my 'practicing human' issue again. I'm working through judging by *not* my limited human standards but by my sense of goodness, my sense of chosing life, my sense of yes. Judging is not always a "good" or "bad" thing - a "right" or "wrong." Actually, we all 'judge' or discern or decide between choices every day. I think that perhaps this has to do with becoming aware of the criteria for our choice. It's not so simple, Jesus is saying, as looking at the cover of a book and deciding.
I think how this applies in chaplaincy. Don't judge a patient by the grimace on their face - it may just be gas. Don't judge a family by the barefeet or flipflops on their feet - they may have just been on a beach vacation or hanging out on their porch when dear ol' uncle had a heart attack. Don't judge a nurse by the color of his scrubs. Black happens to be the color of the trauma team while aqua green is the color of oncology.
And, as I am becoming aware of my own inner critique, I am learning each day how to tell her how un-helpful it is for her to judge me as "wrong" or "insufficient" for the things said or not said, things done or not done. I'm forgiven and I am enough. Back in the box with you!
Thanks to the loving support of my colleagues and supervisors, I have help taming my inner judge. Thanks for being on my journey!
How are you doing with judging, today?