In which bad judgy is way worse than bad

by Craig on March 29, 2011

I’ve been studying James and judgy-ness.

I know the word is really “judmentalism” – but I like “judgy-ness” better.

So there. (⌣˛⌣)

There is a story that goes with this. It’s important, so if you’d like to read it it’s here and here.

The quick recap? Rich guy and poor guy both arrive at a 1st century gathering of believers. Rich guy gets first class treatment – poor guy gets kicked to the curb.

And James says that if I do something like this I become a  judge “with evil design”. (James 2:4)

The comments for the last post on this, the day before yesterday, stretched my mind. The difference between good “judgy” and bad “judgy” – what is it exactly?

I concluded this: That I have to make judgments all day long – to live. I judge situations, and actions, and people. It’s that last one that’s precarious.

The bad “judgy” is when I pretend to know what’s in the heart of another person.
Because how can I really know?
That person sometimes doesn’t even know.

The bad “judgy” is when I make a judgment about another person’s worth. Rich. poor, powerful, weak, blatantly raging sinner, or wolf in sheep’s clothing, sinner who’s saved, or eternally unrepentant soul – we are all just creations of the One who spun the universe into order.

I know I like to think I’m more than that.
I’m not alone in this am I?
Still, the God who made everything – made me.
It’s the potter and the clay thing:

O LORD, you are our father; we are the clay and you the potter: we are all the work of your hands. (IS 64:8)

And as a creation I have inherent limitations.

I can’t fly, I can’t breathe without oxygen, and I can’t see into the heart of another person. The Creator can do that. But none of us are designed for that, so we can’t do it.

I can pretend I can. But then I can pretend a lot of things. It doesn’t make them so.

And what’s worse is that it’s way worse than bad to do it – it’s evil.

Not my words – but the words of James – the words of the Bible.

It’s not that it’s just unfair to be “bad judgy”, or that it’s unwise, or mean, or mistaken – although all of these are true. It’s evil.

I, for one, stand guilty as charged. I look at the rich guy in the story and it’s easy to paint him as the villain but I do the same.

What’s even worse, is a little bit of “bad judgy” leads to more – and spreads to other areas like a mold spreads throughout the walls.

This judging when I’m the not The Judge, and pretend discerning of things of which I can’t possibly know, and the evil nature of it – it spreads.

It spreads so much
that in just a few chapters further in this letter
it leads to jealousy, ambition, bitterness.
and speaking evil against another
and becoming a “a judge of the law”,
and setting myself up as being outside of the law,
maybe better put, as being above the law,
and If I set myself up as above the law of love,
I’m setting myself up as being above the law giver,
I’m setting myself up as the equal to or superior to

God

and that’s a dangerous place to be.

The big things always start with the little.

The Universe began as a single point of energy.

A slippy slope is one that’s best for me to avoid, I think.

No. More. Bad. Judgy. Craig!

God Bless.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

A. March 29, 2011 at 12:23 pm

So very true…and how can we keep our mind away from the slippery slope? It seems to want to go there and go there and go there…especially after hurt or insult or being judged oneself. It means staying close to the Father’s perspective, doesn’t it, somehow? I have to have compassion and understanding of and towards those who I tend to judge to be able to avoid the slope. When I can get to that place, then I can see the hurt and the broken (everyone), and even the enemy (especially), in a loving and freeing light. This reminds me of a silly pair of children’s sunglasses I saw once that had heart-shaped lenses. I need to see others through the Father’s heart for them.

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Craig March 29, 2011 at 12:41 pm

That’s funny A. That could be a whole post – how our minds want to go to the slippery slope – like a kids love the water slide – or a snow covered hill. Thinking…

You and me both need those heart shaped sun glasses – we’ll mess up – we’ll judge – but we’ll try not to – there is grace – perfection is later…

God bless.

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Debbie March 29, 2011 at 8:01 pm

A and Craig . . .I HAVE some of those heart shaped sun glasses. They were one of the girl’s. I wish it was that easy! :) This is all coming at a good time for me. There is a family situation . . .and reading this I can see where I am slipping onto the judgy slope. Thank you so much. I’m going to back off and pray and ask Him to help me more with it, before I think and/or say anything more. God bless you !

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Craig March 29, 2011 at 8:07 pm

Deb I’ve prayed for you. Only a soul that is His gets convicted. I stand guilty too. There’s not a one of us that doesn’t. Judging is so sneaky, so easy to justify sometimes, so slippery. I prayed for wisdom for you, and patience, and strength to meet the task. God bless you Deb.

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A. March 29, 2011 at 8:41 pm

Oh Deb! Just hugs and prayers and the knowing that you aren’t alone in this slopey struggle! I have spent all day (around chores and must-dos) wrestling with some of this stuff.

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Debbie March 29, 2011 at 9:12 pm

I am so blessed to have you both praying for me! :) I feel bolstered by your prayers to stay away from that slope and that little know it all voice that keeps wanting to get its two cents in about what is “right”. Judgy isn’t right though . . .anyway you look at it. I know that now! :) Thank you, Craig and A . . .tons!!!

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Debra March 30, 2011 at 12:37 am

I like “ judgy-ness” better than “judmentalism” too. It’s a fresher word.
“… and spreads to other areas like a mold spreads throughout the walls.” Great simile. Is it okay to judge an inept regime, and one consumed with hubris? Is this bad judgy-ness?

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Craig March 30, 2011 at 10:13 am

It is a fresh word. No. Judgy – I’m really bad at making nouns adjectives by adding y’s. Good thing I’m not being graded. An inept and violent regime – I think that’s the point – we can judge an action against the law of love – but the heart of a person – that we can’t. So the guy in Libya, and the old one in Iraq, and the guys in Darfur where jet planes aren’t flying – the actions there are all clearly unjust – it’s just hearts of people – those are known only to God. Judgy is just something to be careful with. Ya know?

God bless you Debra.

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A. March 31, 2011 at 11:53 am

That is a helpful distinction-the actions, not the hearts.

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