Monday, August 20, 2007

Standing in Judgment

I don't much care if people like me or not. That's their choice, based on who they are, much more so than who I am. But I cannot stand being judged by others. I cannot stand the look of dismissal, condemnation, rejection or disgust that appears once judgment has been passed and I have been found lacking.

It's not because I'm so sensitive to what others think of me. I'm a bit indifferent to other's opinions in a personal way. But what I cannot bear is the hubris of another human being stepping into the space between me and G*d, inserting themselves with an authority completely of their own making, deciding somehow that they have the right to pronounce judgment on me.

It is the ultimate arrogance to assume that you are separate from humanity yourself, and that that separation confers special powers and privileges on you. I think G*d Himself doesn't judge, but simply lets the laws of action and reaction play out, each of us harvesting the fruits, bitter or sweet, of our own choices and decisions.

Why would G*d judge us? He is love. His role is not to judge, but to purify, transform, salvage, uplift and sustain the grievously injured souls of the world. Like any good emergency room doctor, He isn't standing around trying to decide if the patient is worth saving. He knows the value of human life better than we do, and takes immediate action to help the wounded.

Taking on the role of judge happens when you are so disturbed by your own human weakness that seeing it in others threatens you, and so you need some clear way to separate yourself from others. Thinking that they are wrong or defective, and that you are different or better, makes you feel safe and protected. Needing some insurance that you are not the things you reject is quite understandable. Deciding what you want and need to feel safe is fine.

But harshly and coldly judging the content of another's character to ensure your own safety and security is never fine. Anyone who judges another that way doesn't have the kind of love, concern and generosity in their own heart to truly understand anyone else. Human judgment is destructive on every level. It destroys self esteem, it destroys relationships, it destroys societies, with its haughty assumptions and inherent limitations.

If G*d Himself does ever actually judge us, it is with so much love, so much compassion, such deep desire for healing, that His concern itself feels like a blessing.

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