‘Is there a price to pay when humans judge one another?’

“But I tell you that it will be more bearable for Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.” Matthew 11v24

The human need to judge is common in most cultures and happens so frequently that we are unaware when engaging in it.  Indeed, our experience of injustice occurs from an early age as:

  • a toddler takes away our toy leaving us to voice our complaint
  • we lament the miserliness of  a parent who denies us an ice cream
  • jilted by our first love, we console ourselves by telling their faults to everyone
  • we judge a mother who is unable to control her child and think them a bad parent

At the heart of these judgments is the notion of a moral superiority which asserts we are ‘right’ and others are ‘wrong’. Interestingly, within these exchanges there also seems to be an aspect of societal control embedded in sharing our judgments about people which works something like this: we make a judgement then share it only to assess the listener’s feedback to see if they are supportive of our position or not so we can:

  • seek out others more likely to agree with us
  • re-think our opinion rather than fall out with others
  • continue as before but being more circumspect with whom we share and what we say

Which brings us to the belief that God will judge the earth and its peoples. And herein lies the problem. While we might hope God will extend mercy to us, we are aware of our own failure in the countless unkind judgments we make of others every day. Judgments in which we condemn and discard the person without qualm and, in so doing, became an offender ourselves. This is the reason why our human propensity to judge others causes discomfort because we believe that one day the same lack of love and grace will be visited on us by the Maker of all things and we’ll be found wanting when the scales are held aloft.