“Every man is guilty of all the good he did not do.” ~Voltaire

Arrested DevelopmentJesus said, “Stop judging”. Do you rewrite that in your head as, “Stop judging people as guilty”? It is just as insidious to find people not guilty. Judging can have two results after all. Maybe finding people guilty makes for better television but Jesus didn’t have television. Still, wouldn’t it be good to judge people as not guilty?

Let’s back up for a moment. Why did Jesus say, “Stop judging”? It is not because fair judgment is bad. It is because you are not adequately qualified to judge. So your judgments are unsound. If your judgments are unsound, aren’t not guilty verdicts as likely to be wrong as guilty verdicts?

“In a black and white world…wait, there is no such world.” click to tweet

Consider what happens when you judge someone as not guilty. You now give weight to their positionalities. You assign to them a lofty position as “a source of truth”. But what if they are wrong and you, due to your limited judging capabilities, called it incorrectly? You are now steering yourself farther away from truth. People build up elaborate illusions about the world as they misguidedly find the flawed to be innocent. Those illusions turn down right dangerous far too often. It is why the world has war and rampant health problems and economic crises.

So apply the same method of assessment whether the outcome is favorable or unfavorable. Your vision will be clearer and your intent more pure.

Have you successfully stopped judging? Share your experiences below by commenting.

Photo credit: Bob B. Brown

Guilty or Not Guilty Is the Wrong Question
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