the doppelgänger of “judging”

“Hey man, are you sure you should have another drink?”

“F you, dude! Stop judging me.”

Judging has become the buzz-word for one of the worst things that people say Christians do, and is often what makes people say religion is horrible.

But I think a lot of people who feel “judged” have used this ugliness-loaded word to describe its gentler doppleganger. I think sometimes what has been called judging, is really loving.

Maybe when a loving suggestion makes us feel bad we banefully call it judgement.

Maybe it’s because this way of loving doesn’t often match our culture’s philosophy which says, “if I want to do something my way, you have no right to budge in.” But Christianity calls us to want the best for our neighbors, all of them.

There are only a few times, and a few very careful ways we should do it when it’s with our peers, but didn’t our parents often teach us the basic skills of life by telling us to do things in a better way? It hurt sometimes but it was the most loving thing they could have done.

Now, it is usually not helpful to criticize someone who doesn’t subscribe to your moral code, but I think wanting to see people at their healthiest should be our hope for everybody. For me, the absolutely necessary part is to earn the right to tell someone the hard things, by having built a foundation of love that is so strong, that a constructive criticism can’t convince them you are doing it out of anything but love.

“F you, dude! Stop judging me.”

“I’m not trying to judge you, my friend. Forgive me if it sounds that way. This is how I’m trying to love you.”

I know a lot of us do it with the wrong heart or in sloppy, hurtful ways; that is way easier to do. But maybe we can strive to convince the world that Christians couldn’t be judging their neighbors because they just love them so undeniably much.