Week in Review: Judgment

Judgment is an aversion.

When I judge other people, I focus on how they have let me down; I avoid the true source of my unhappiness--my own sense of worthlessness--and instead consider the unworthiness of others. In the end, this just adds to my suffering and the suffering of the world.

Perhaps that is why Jesus cautions us against judging others. "For with the judgment you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get." (Matthew 7:2) The people we judge are simply proxies for ourselves; the person we really want to judge is ourselves. But since we don't know how to do that with mercy--or we don't have the humility to judge ourselves--we would rather inflict suffering on others.

The fact is, we don't know how to judge. Only God does, and her judgment is merciful. Perhaps we should spend more time practicing loving kindness through mercy.

This Week's Meditations

Monday: True judgment leads us to love, mercy, and compassion.

Tuesday: When we judge others, we reveal our arrogance.

WednesdayWe fear judgment because we fear mercy.

Thursday: Humility frees us from the temptation to judge others.

Friday: Our judgments are based on our opinions, which are always wrong.

Center yourself by focusing on your breathing for a few moments. Inhale God's love. Exhale God's mercy. Continue until your mind, body, and spirit are fresh, solid, and free.

Allow your mind to bring up people you have judged. What did you judge them for? Were they rude, cruel, or obnoxious? Think of a time you have been rude, cruel, or obnoxious. As you think of this person, say to yourself: Just like me.

As you continue this meditation, take not of how your attitude changed toward the people you judge. Are you more understanding? Are your more patient? Are you more accepting? How might you treat these people with mercy instead of judgment?

Close with this prayer of one of your own: Lord, grant me wisdom so that I may be a person of understanding and compassion. Amen.

Give me Wisdom, the consort at your throne,
and do not reject me from among your children;
For I am your servant, the child of your maidservant,
a man weak and short-lived
and lacking in comprehension of judgment and of laws.
— Wisdom 9:4-5