Let’s Stop Judging and Start Listening with Compassion
“Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.
Matthew 7:1-2 NLT
A professor stood at the front of a classroom of students pursuing their master’s degree in Educational Counseling. The following instructions were given, “As I read this story, raise your hand when you think you have enough information to provide helpful counsel.” A complex story was read, with listening students raising their hands along the way to offer counsel, only to find out a few minutes later the counsel they were prepared to offer was completely wrong, given what they continued to learn as the story unfolded.
Many were willing to judge what was needed, rather than listening to understand.
Judging others has become sport. News stories often are more about the harsh responses on social media between people than the real issues at-hand. We are encouraged to pass judgement on people and situations quickly, only to find out later, we did not have the information needed to even consider a good conclusion.
Part of our God-given design is to make sense of things. Our brains are created to provide answers to questions. When it comes to people, we think we understand and can make judgements about someone else’s life based simply on our own observations. The truth is, we do not know all that needs to be known to judge.
Thankfully, there is one who does understand everything. God is the only one qualified to bring judgement. He decided to offer forgiveness through Jesus Christ. The responsibility for judgement rests with God, not you and me. What a relief!!!
Encouragement: Take time to listen to other people. Ask questions that help you know more about them. Listen with compassion. Hold back from judgement and seek understanding. When you are done listening, listen some more. Wait on God for guidance on how to respond to challenging situations and people. Leave the judging to God.
Thank You for carrying the responsibility of judging. While each of us do have to make discerning decisions about others, we seek to do it with Your compassion, the guidance of the Holy Spirit, extending the forgiveness offered through Jesus Christ. Help us to listen to others. Forgive us for snap judgements that do not reflect You.
In Jesus name we pray, Amen
–Ed McDowell, Executive Director
Warm Beach Camp and Conference Center