Judgment

How to Thrive in a Culture of Critics

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, 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.” ~Jesus

 

We live in a culture of critics.

Everybody has an opinion, and it seems that in this day and age those opinions are becoming louder and harsher.

Having an opinion is nothing new. It is not inherently bad. We were made to be thinkers and discern-ers. But what used to be said within the privacy of homes or in the circles of good friends is now spoken with harsh outside voices on social media and television. We’re invited to give our opinions.

I believe the culprits of this tongue lashing epidemic are shows like The Voice and American Idol. I love these shows. I watch them almost religiously–they are my outlet. I’m not hating on them, but they have given us the security of our right to judge–even if we can’t sing on key. This filters down through other avenues of our lives.

Our culture is teaching even the youngest in our population to judge others. Judgement is no longer only for the three or four respected and proven people sitting at the table before the performers, but it’s also for us–the untrained. I believe it changes our hearts. It feeds the critic inside.

Have you noticed this? Do you find yourself thinking critically about a person or situation even when you don’t know them? Have you found yourself the target of such criticism and judgment?

I’ve experienced both sides recently–that is, I’ve had judgmental thoughts about others, but I’ve also been on the receiving end of criticism. And honestly, most of the time, I’m hardest on myself. My inner critic can be the harshest.

The other day I allowed old tapes to play in my head, the same old tunes of failure and discouragement. Debates with a loved one had resurrected old wounds and I began to wonder if we would ever stop going around that same desert mountain.

Manna was no where to be found. Our disagreement left me frustrated and doubtful. The inner critic raged at both of us–mostly the other person, but I’ve always easily seen my own faults so the critic held me in a choke hold also.

I couldn’t breathe until I read closing words in an e-mail totally unrelated to the earlier debate:

“Jesus Loves You.”

The words were like magic.

As I let those simple words wash over me, the inner critic’s hold disengaged. And I was reminded that I didn’t have to be right or perfect or win the battle. He already had done it for me. I didn’t have to be perfect nor did the one with whom I had disagreed. Jesus loves both of us.

“Jesus Loves Us.”

What if we looked in the mirror as well as at others through the filter of these three words?

What if this became our mantra?

I have to believe that the critics would lose their volume.

Yes, there are times when we must be critical. Judgments do have to be made, but not every minute of ever day and they don’t have to be published for all to see. Everyone doesn’t have the authority to critique or judge. It is earned.

Thank goodness Jesus Loves Us.

What do you think? Do you agree that our culture is becoming more judgmental and critical?

Living in His Kindness and Grace,

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8 thoughts on “How to Thrive in a Culture of Critics

  1. It’s like I was reading my own thoughts that I didn’t write ! I hate it when people “judge” and especially when I feel judged, yet there ARE times when the judge I perceive in others is only in my head ! And I DO find it difficult at times not to get caught up in the judging frenzy that permeates our culture, being the critical thinker that I am. I need to put my “rose colored glasses ” on more often and be reminded that Jesus Loves Us All !

  2. I do agree we’re becoming more judgmental, Andy, and I turn off the TV often…especially the talking heads who are supposed to be reporting the facts of the daily news. Instead, we are subjected to their rants, opinions, and opines. Thank heavens for the OFF button. I love that the thought of being loved by Jesus can apply to anyone who chooses to believe. That unconditional, all-encompassing, non-judgmental love is such a balm these days. Can you imagine what the world would be like if everyone could experience Him? Heaven on earth, perhaps! Thanks for sharing and for listening : -))

  3. Oh, I feel this is so true. I do not watch those shows ( nor even the competitive cooking shows that do the same thing… And I really like cooking shows! It bothers me that someone can set himself up as judge of things that are so evidently subjective! Just because we like our avocados a little green, and we don’t like Rosemary at all does not make us food-idiots. De gustibus non desputandum eat. This is probably more than you wanted, but you got a sore spot. I love you and your ideas. I’m with ya, Girl! These things have definitely opened a Pandora’s box best left shut. It messes with the humility Jesus teaches. We are not the authority just because our opinion is strong.

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