Saturday, October 26, 2013

Quick to Judge: A Study in Black and White

It just seems so easy for some people.
Right and wrong, I mean. Some just see it so clearly, with no fuzzy edges, with no confusing alternatives, with no options to reconsider.

Deciding right from wrong sounds like it should be easy, but it isn't. Not for a lot of us.
Most people will tell you that lying, for instance, is wrong.
But what about lying to save someone's feelings or their reputation or their life? Is it still wrong?
And how about harming someone? Is that always wrong?
How about protecting someone from attack? How about the times when civil courts exonerate the obviously guilty? Who protects their next victim?
And then there's obedience to authority--when can a child question? When a parent instructs them not to tell? When they teach a child to buy them drugs? When they say it's OK, just this once?

I think there's a reason some of these questions seem so easy for some and so hard for others--
People who judge quickly have often had to.
Some of us have grown up with the luxury of relative ease and security. Not so with everyone. Some people are born into a battle that they have to engage day by hard day, even from childhood. Their antennas always have to be up. Survival can depend on it.
The more often a person has had to make hard, life-changing, even life-saving decisions, the quicker they judge. They have had to. 
Someone in immediate danger can't pause to contemplate. They act.
A hard life can necessitate a habit of fast, hard decisions.

God, for His part, appreciates people of decision:
...he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed like the wind.--James 1:5
He says He will show us what to do and expects us to do it.
This is the way. Walk in it.--Isaiah 30:21

God is saying that He's given us all we need already. He expects us to do something with it.
Judge when you have to. 

Yes, some people judge more quickly than others, but before you point an accusing finger and quote a Bible verse, find out why.
Maybe they've lived a life that necessitated extra practice.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting thoughts about judgment I haven't considered before. I will have to ponder this some more. Thank you for the reminder not too judge before we know where the other person is coming from.