J is for Judgment

J is for Judgment #atozchallenge @fillpraycloset on TwitterToday we’re going to do our best to cover Judgment. I had to get slightly controversial on ya. I wanted to be sure to get you when you least expected it. As always, it will not be what you expect. So do read on.

This is a broad topic and one that I deal with and have dealt with on a daily basis from all vantage points.

In yesterday’s mini-Catholicism morsel, we talked about Ignatian Spirituality and a tad on St. Ignatius himself.

What is it?

Judgment (aside from always being misspelled by your resident Catholic) is only to be given by God upon one’s death. As in, those that are judged to go to heaven or hell. The end. That’s it. I mean, there is Purgatory – but we’re in the land of J.

Why did I choose to share this particular “J” with you?

A few reasons. I judge and I am judged. My family is judged. My family judges others. My church judges, I judge the church. Ugh, I could do this all day. How can this be? Look up at how small that definition of judgment is according to the Catholic faith. considering the deep teaching and theology present in the church on – well everything – you would think we, as Catholics, would have it in the bag! Not so…let’s take a look at a verse a friend just mentioned to me:

James 1: 23-24

For if any are hearers of the word and not doers, they are like those who look at themselves in a mirror; for they look at themselves and, on going away, immediately forget what they were like.

She said it was kind of similar to this verse that I then shared with her:

Matthew 7:1-5

“Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. For with the judgment you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your neighbor,‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ while the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor’s eye.

J is for Judgement #atozchallenge
The Last Judgement Stefan Lochner (circa 1400/1410–1451) Pretty intense, isn’t it? Eeek!

Now, you’re probably familiar with, or have heard the latter of these two bits of scripture. Joined together, though, and through the lens of judgment, it’s as if Jesus knew that we would have a problem with judging others. We can be so self-righteous can’t we? Just recently at mass, for example, I was sitting behind a woman I hadn’t seen before. She kept motioning to her husband throughout mass. It seemed she wasn’t pleased with how the priest was conducting mass. The more she fidgeted, the more bothered I got. “Where does she get off? How disrespectful! This priest is awesome. He’s visiting from Haiti and we couldn’t be MORE blessed to have him. And then the eye rolls. I hope she turns around so I can give her an eyeslap” (super crazy eye roll)…See what I’ve been doing? I’ve been judging her. Even as I was “defending the priest” I was judging her. Tsk tsk tsk. It’s an easy trap to fall into folks, and honestly, it will creep up on me and happen again. I think the important thing though, is to recognize it. Recognize it so you can get better (not perfect), at minimizing the easy slide to judgment. And for all of my already-Catholics, not to worry, at the Sign of Peace, she was the first person I shook hands with, looked right in the eye (no slapping) and smiled a sincere, full-of-agape, authentic smile.

Can you recognize the small slip into judgment-land? What are your triggers?

Come back tomorrow for to read all about my Catholic take on the letter K. I am blogging my way through the alphabet with others who are doing the same. 

Please support the bloggers of the #AtoZchallenge by visiting, sharing or commenting. We have all worked long and hard to prepare these posts, some prepping for a couple of months, as we posted our regular schedule, took care of our children, went to work, had the flu…well, you get the idea.

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26 thoughts on “J is for Judgment

  1. I guess we all at some point judge people based on culture, creed, and what not… important thing is to always see them as individuals and that they are unique…

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  2. I tend to think I am not judgmental but then I realize… we all fall into that trap. Sometimes I am shocked to learn people aren’t as open hearted as I am and I, ironically, judge them for that! I even judge people for judging people. (Shaking my head at me.)

    I judge other parents of kids on the spectrum for how they talk to their children. (Yelling = bad bad bad! my mind says rather than, “What can I do to help that Mom right now?”)

    I judge people for being scared of the darkness even though I am the biggest scaredy cat! I judge people for living only amongst people just like then because I value diversity and don’t get why anyone would prefer everyone being “just like me” I mean, how boring is that! (Judge, judge, judge!)

    I could go on and on… and here is another judgment: I find you to be a remarkable woman, writer and thinker, Cristina! I look forward to your posts every day.

    Julie Jordan Scott
    The Bold Writer from A to Z

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    1. Oh my gosh! We’re the same Judgey McJudgertons. We are, we are! The whole time I was going “yep, yeah, Oh hell yeah, that’s me all day!”

      Crap, I gotta stop judging. :-/

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    1. Indeed – sometimes, I catch myself and my will is stronger than the Holy Spirit and I judge anyway. Then I feel guilty. Then comes the ice cream. More guilt, judging of myself and then…more ice cream. Why is that bad again? Oh yeah! Judging. Bad.

      XD

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      1. And I have never had this much fun in Lent reading about stuff I had never heard of (like Kerygma) and challenging my own knowledge by trying to outguess you. Thanks!

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  3. Good one, Cristina. A topic we all need to be reminded about. I like to think I’m not judgmental but have been known to assume about people only to find out my assumptions were wrong. I guess you could say that was a form of judgment. I hate it when people judge me and think they know what I’m about or dismiss me after judging me harshly. Keeping an open mind and being gentle towards our fellow humans is a continuing challenge but well worth it.

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  4. Very well written! And as a fellow forever Catholic girl, I appreciate this blog today. When we don’t judge others, we are really freeing ourselves and yes it is hard not to sometimes. But, like you said, being aware of ourselves is the key.

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  5. ^^^ Wrong link to one of my blogs up above. I’m having problems deleting this one! I also have a current blog at lindasays-beachlover.blogspot.com. I would like to get the blog down below running again too. I’ve been in school for a while, but it was too hard on the family, so I’m back to writing at home. Take care and I love your blog. Unique!

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    1. All the best of luck to you. I was in school too and had to go back to work (two classes shy of a Master’s). While I’m not doing what I love by day – I am making my days and nights count, by writing! That – I LOVE! See you around soon! (Praying for you too)

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  6. Good points here, Cristina. I think we are too quick to judge others while too slow to apply good judgement. Judging meaning evaluating the worth of another. Judgement meaning decisions we make (who to befriend, where to spend our time and money etc.) When my A-Z Challenge is over, I think you’ll find you’ve inspired me to do a piece differentiating being being judgmental and applying good judgment. Thanks!

    PS Thank God for spell check because I ALWAYS spell judge-words wrong! 😉

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    1. I fancy myself a good speller. I’ve even won a spelling bee or two. The word judgement – always gets that crinkly red underneath it. Maybe it’s all psychological? Can’t wait to read your judgement piece!

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  7. This is something we all to be aware of and that makes it easy to catch ourselves and stop ourselves if we are in that situation. One of the things I try to remember is — if that was me, would I want to be judged by you –of course not! Until I have walked a mile in your shoes, I have no right to judge you in any way, shape or form.

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  8. This is one of those things that I really struggle with. I have to make a conscience effort to NOT judge others. It’s so easy, and that’s why it’s so wrong. Another great post.

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  9. I think you said it perfectly! We ALL do this. And I couldn’t help but chuckle at the “eye-slap”. I’ve given a few of those, although I never knew they had a name. Great post!

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  10. I’ve heard it said, what we dislike about others the most is usually what we dislike about ourselves! (like how you were judging the parishioner for judging the priest) Sometimes, though, as in the James passage, we don’t see that we’re doing it! Pride is one of those related evils – either it boasts us to feel better than others, or it simply keeps us from seeing our own sin.

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