This weekend, I found myself going overboard on the whole “judging others” thing…
While attending a class at MTSO, I began to have ideas for blog posts based on types of pastors. And, that’s where the judging began…
There would be a post titled “The Creepy Pastor”. This post would have been based on a man that I do not know. I have only seen him and observed some of his actions. Based on his appearance and his actions, I have made a snap judgment and labeled him as “creepy.”
Following “The Creepy Pastor” would have been a post on “The Lazy Pastor”. This post would have been based on a whole group of pastors who prefer to get in their cars and drive to the dining hall, rather than walking across the street and up the sidewalk. I don’t know anything about the physical health of these pastors. So, my judgment was just based on observing them driving from one building to the next building over. Yes, there is a hill that could be physically demanding for some. But, in my labeling these folks as “lazy”, I was making an uninformed judgment.
The next post would have been, “The Boastful Prosperity Pastor”. Now, some may think that this would focus on the types of pastors who brag about how “big” their churches are…how “big” their budget is…how “cool” their ministry is…and so on. But, nope, that’s not the case here. This post was going to be about this one pastor who draws attention to himself through his vehicle. He has a “UM Clergy” plate on the front and a “Pastor 1” license plate on the back. And, I guess business as a UM Clergy in the state of Michigan is “good”, as the plates are on a very expensive, very new SUV. Now, I don’t really know they guy driving this particular vehicle. All of my judgments are simply based on license plates and the make and model of his vehicle.
At first, I tried to justify my judgments. I convinced myself that it’s okay to make these judgments because our first impressions are usually fairly accurate. I mean, if I get the vibe that some dude is creepy, the dude is probably creepy. If I get the impression that someone is lazy, that person is probably lazy. If I feel like a pastor is all about prosperity, then that’s probably an accurate assessment.
And, I tried…all weekend…to justify these judgments. However, as I sit here this afternoon, I find myself realizing I’m the judgmental jerk who didn’t give any of these folks a chance. Sure, my assessment of each person might be totally right. But, does that matter?
Maybe those folks I’m judging are thinking, “Man, that guy is one judgmental jerk who thinks he’s better than us.” And, they would have been right.
I’d like to judge people less. It will be a challenge because my natural tendency is to write someone off before I even give them a chance.
“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