Wednesday, March 28, 2012

It's a Snap (Judgment, That Is)

I am a judgmental person.  It is something I am not proud of, and every time I think I might finally have it licked, something sets it off again.  And I don’t mean in a first-impression-you’re-not-like-me kind of judging, I mean in a full I-don’t-want-to-have-anything-else-to-do-with-anything-relating-to-that-person kind of judging.  *sigh*  Here we go again.

What brought all this on?  I was just looking for a video for a song.  Which of course had links to all the other videos this person has done.  And in the comments under one of them (because obviously I can’t keep from clicking on some of the other songs, I’m a music freak), some random person bashes the singer for not being the person she appears to be in her “public” life, citing a very explicit site that supposedly she is part of.

Now, after a day to flip out about it (inwardly, not to anyone, thankfully), I stopped to process and further research this particular person and the details around several inconsistencies.  And after all that, I found that the things that this anonymous person I’ve never met (and hopefully never will) are total hooey.  I’m sure that there is someone out there trying to defame this person by posting as them, and make them out to be a total hypocrite.  It’s rotten to think that people go to such great lengths to destroy the good name and reputation of Christians.

So what’s my problem?  I was ready to completely disavow any further interaction with this well-known person because of something that was completely unfounded.  I was absolutely incensed that they put forth such a “holy” front to the world yet behind not-so-closed doors they didn’t practice what they preached.  And all this without anything to really back it up.

I often find myself reacting to something like that badly.  And it drives me crazy!  I nearly destroyed a friendship that way a time or two; once being so viciously judgmental of a friend’s behavior that I’m quite certain it’s why he stopped speaking to me and basically dropped off the face of the planet for a while.  I even refused to be in a friend’s wedding because of my judgmental behavior (I changed my mind a couple of months before the wedding after God whacked me in the head with a 2x4 to straighten me out).

Now, I don’t freak out like this all the time, obviously.  Usually, it’s right about the time I’m feeling really good about myself, so proud of how I handled the latest crisis, or something similar.  And then, bam!  Total blindside back into a nasty judgment of someone or something.  It’s frustrating.

I think I’m learning something in the middle of the situation this time, though.  I kept turning my eyes and thoughts back to Christ.  Of course, I’m really apt to jerk them away just as fast – but I kept thinking, what if this is the enemy’s way of keeping me from Christ, again?  Is my minor obsession with this person and their shortcomings, whether real or imagined, keeping me from focusing on God?  The answer was yes.  On the very same day that I was repurposing that I was going to focus on God, include Him in all my choices and thoughts and actions, the enemy was quick to derail me.

I’m not going to say I’m proud of how I handled things, though I am glad that I cleared it up in my own mind quickly (okay, I’ll admit, it still niggles at the back of my mind – and I keep handing it back to God).  That’s a step in the right direction.  Because I don’t want to be a judgmental person.  I don’t want to be negative.  Even if something is true, I don’t want to act like I am the final judge and it is my responsibility to correct the problem.  I am not the Judge of truth, or any other person.

As I often tell my children, I can only truly change one person – me.  And even then, it doesn’t happen without the strength of One much greater than I am.  I am so happy that I am not a “finished product” – that God, in His infinite patience, is still working on the person I am to make me the person He wants me to be.  I’m certain that becoming non-judgmental is part of that package.

“Blessed is the man whom You instruct, O Lord, and teach out of your law.” Psalm 94:12