Well, honestly, nine out of ten times in my case, the answer would be ‘Judgmental!’ It can be so hard to distinguish between when we are simply ‘adjudging’ a situation – even if on a moral issue – or when we are being ‘judgmental’ – in other words, decreeing in our hearts and minds what is ‘right’ and what is ‘wrong’ about someone’s heart or motive. Most of the time, as mortals, we are doing the latter. Why is this?
Something deep within us is deeply afraid. Ever since we sold our souls to ‘knowledge’ or ‘knowing’ (Genesis 3), we get very insecure when we don’t know something, or cannot definitively ‘call it’. So what we do is… call it! Yes, because we have declared ourselves ‘gods’, and live our lives by our own values and ‘knowing’, well, we better be right! Right? ‘Cause if we’re wrong about this… or don’t know about that… well, how do we know about our own lives, souls and destiny? So we judge! It is not just what comes out of our mouths, but what is going on in our heart. So even when I am the least ‘vocal’ on a topic, I can still be the most judgmental in my heart.
There are so many scriptures about this issue, but here are just 2 to ponder. The first is spoken by Jesus, and the second written about him. May the Lord help us all grow in this area, and be more patient, more generous, and wiser with our words and judgments:
Matthew 7:1-5 ‘Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.’
1 Peter 2:23 ‘… when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.’