Beware of Judging Others

In one of his books, the English author C.S. Lewis points out that, if people are not careful, when they become Christian their  sinning often shifts from  the overt, outwardly visible sins of lying, cheating, stealing, cursing and swearing, to the more inward, hidden, non-apparent, invisible ones ... and among them he lists "a critical spirit" ... a spirit of judgmental, censorious attitude.  

He points out that this sin is one of the transgressions that is more commonly committed by Church people, and it is sometimes labeled "Christian cruelty."  

“Judging is to criticize or censure, to think or suppose ... by pretending to know the motives of the person doing the acting." The sin of judging is dangerous business and should be carefully avoided by those who wish to prevent this sin from becoming part and parcel of their lives.  

A priest in a small Illinois town was seen leaving a tavern at 12:45 a.m. "He was with another man, and both were drunk," swore the informant. When confronted with the accusation, the priest readily admitted that he had left the tavern with another man at that late hour, but it was not as it seemed.  At the request of a distraught wife, the priest had entered the place to persuade the husband, who was squandering his paycheck, to go home. His   efforts met with success at precisely 12:45 in the morning at which time they both left the tavern. The priest had not been drinking. He stumbled while  trying to hold the inebriated husband upright. But the story, with all its lurid implications, would not die. It grew and spread out of all proportion in that small town. The Bishop upbraided him for what the Bishop considered an indiscretion, and finally the priest was transferred from his parish.  

This parable of the weeds among the wheat tells us that judgment is the function only of God. We should take a close look at our own life: How often have we been a "weed" in the garden of the Lord?  How merciful is God that we were not plucked up at those times when we become like a weed? God’s love and mercy is so vast that He allows evil to exist in order that what is good may grow. If God treats us that way, then who are we to treat others   differently?

Susana Nieto