There are many interesting articles online about why we judge others. Most focus on our need to judge in order to feel better about ourselves. Closely connected to shame, people tend to categorize other people as if we are living on some comparison ladder. Some seem to be “above,” with fewer struggles, greater popularity, or a greater sense of worthiness. Judging often serves as a way to “bring them down a notch,” thus temporarily making you feel better about yourself. Others seem to be “below” you on the comparison ladder, and ongoing judgment of “those people” props up an insecure person. Most every blog, scholarly article or how-to manual out there emphasizes that our judgment of others says a lot more about who we are and what we fear we are lacking than they do about the other person.
As Dr. Brené Brown says:
…research tells us that we judge people in areas where we’re vulnerable to shame, especially picking folks who are doing worse than we’re doing. If I feel good about my parenting, I have no interest in judging other people’s choices. If I feel good about my body, I don’t go around making fun of other people’s weight or appearance. We’re hard on each other because we’re using each other as a launching pad out of our own perceived shaming deficiency.
What types of behaviors do you find yourself judging? How does that relate to your own sense of shame?
God created us each with our own unique set of gifts and talents. We also face unique challenges and losses throughout life. How can you set aside the comparison game and embrace God’s handiwork in you?
I Corinthians 12:12-20
For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. Indeed, the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot would say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear would say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many members, yet one body.
Let us pray,
Lord God, we are, each one of us, fearfully and wonderfully made by you, designed with particular gifts, personalities and passions. Ground us in your grace that we may be vessels of that grace toward ourselves and toward others. We pray in the name of the one who surrounded himself with flawed and gifted disciples, Jesus Christ our Lord.
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Tags: devotions, fasting, judgment, Lent