Every now and then I let someone speak for me. Today is one such day. I know it’s kind of weird to copy and paste another person’s original thoughts, especially on your own blog site. Perhaps some of you are already judging me for doing so, thinking that I’m being lazy or unoriginal. You might be right. I’m sure I am. I can live with that.
Even the smartest, most prolific people know that it’s not always best to reinvent the wheel. Or words in this case. Therefore, I give you these words of Henri Nouwen who always knows what to say better than I do. Maybe I’m judging myself to harshly as well. I that’s okay too because this is what my favorite Belgian priest had to say about the burden of judgment:
Imagine having no need at all to judge anybody. Imagine having no desire to decide whether someone is a good or bad person. Imagine being completely free from the feeling that you have to make up your mind about the morality of someone’s behavior. Imagine that you could say: “I am judging no one!”
Imagine — wouldn’t that be true inner freedom? . . . But we can only let go of the heavy burden of judging others when we don’t mind carrying the light burden of being judged!
Can we free ourselves from the need to judge others? Yes, by claiming for ourselves the truth that we are the Beloved Daughters and Sons of God.
As long as we continue to live as if we are what we do, what we have, and what other people think about us, we will remain filled with judgments, opinions, evaluations, and condemnations. We will remain addicted to the need to put people and things in their “right” place. To the degree that we embrace the truth that our identity is not rooted in our success, power, or popularity, we can let go of our need to judge. “Do not judge and you will not be judged; because the judgments you give are the judgments you will get” (Matthew 7:1).
When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” JOHN 8:7 (NIV)
Text excerpts taken from "You are the Beloved" by Henri J.M. Nouwen and the Henri Nouwen Legacy Trust. Convergent Books 2017.
An ex-copywriter turned punk rock pastor and peacemaker who dedicates his life to making the world a better place for all humanity.
"that they all might be one" ~John 17:21
“Prius vita quam doctrina.”
~ St. Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274)
* “Life is more important than doctrine.”