By Cindy Koch –
I am going to let you in on a dirty little secret. It is an unspoken paradigm in which we live, and it is not a pretty one. This extends to mothers of any sport or activity, and dare I say, women in any number who meet together regularly. Ladies, you know it as soon as you set foot into that circle of friends. You have entered into the judgy zone.
“Judgement” in our daily life has a bad connotation. “Don’t judge!” slogans are commonplace on T-shirts and Facebook posts, and it is one of the seven deadly sins of our American Culture, rivaling puppy assassin. It can be as innocent as judgements on hairstyles. It can be as intrusive as judgements on child rearing. It can be as damaging as judgments on one’s morality. But there is something so terribly wrong with judgment, and we all know it. We all hate to be judged, because when we receive it that means we are not living up to a standard of righteousness.
But the reality is, women are in many situations with lots of different factors. We have to take care of business, lots of business, whether it be at home, at work, with children, or with parents. So, we weigh our daily life decisions against another; and we judge. This is a good thing, to discern the right course of action, to focus our efforts on what we know to be important, good, and faithful. Discernment, judgement, and wisdom are all incredible gifts from God.
Keep sound wisdom and discretion,
and they will be life for your soul (Proverbs 3:22)
And so, to our sister it might start out as an understanding nod or a sideway glance. It then might grow into a gentle, you know… or this might help… Quickly, though, it can inflate into downright shameful gossip about should-a, could-a, would-a’s. In the end, the judgements creep in to kill and destroy an already broken girl. The injustice we instantly feel from judgement is death from the Law.
The Law is unpredictable. It tells what you should do and who you should be. And it is never done. There is always one more step. There is always something left undone. When the Law goes flying around, you have no idea how other people will hear it:
Whoever corrects a scoffer gets himself abuse,
and he who reproves a wicked man incurs injury.
Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you;
reprove a wise man, and he will love you.
Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser;
teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning. (Proverbs 9:7-9)
Sure, some may learn. Still others may hear and hate the messenger. Some may brush it off. Some may dwell on the weight of the demands for a lifetime. Some may try to do better, only to fail again. The Law doesn’t actually fix anything. But it surely does one thing every time; it judges. And so the wise Proverb teacher leaves us with this to ponder:
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight. (Proverbs 9:10)
Wisdom begins with fear. If you are giving wisdom, you fear. If you are receiving wisdom, you fear. Not one of us is worthy to teach or judge. Our opinions and thoughts are just as broken as the sister sitting next to us. We fear the Lord and His judgement (the Law) and we know we cannot live up to it.
We are dead. The Law has killed us. We are terrified of the Lord’s judgement, together.
The only thing I can say to you is I forgive you. There are no more judging eyes. “The knowledge of the Holy One is insight.” Christ was judged for every time you looked down on your friend. Christ was the one who bears the pain when you can’t live up to the standard. And now Christ lives a new life, without judgement, and gave it freely to you. You are free from judgement! When you feel the sting of the judging eyes, I will remind you that they have no power.