While looking up content for today’s reminder I found a truly fantastic talk, “Judge Not, That Ye Be Not Judged”, by N. Eldon Tanner. It was such a fantastic talk that it felt like I was setting aside every other paragraph to potentially be posted. I finally decided on what part to post, but I still wanted to use the rest of it in some way. So, I decided to make a special out of all the content I didn’t post. Here it is, copied straight out of my notes:
“Wouldn’t this old world be better
If the folks we meet would say:
‘I know something good about you,’
And then treat us that way?”
It seems common practice for people to talk about their friends and neighbors and to criticize their seeming peculiarities and weaknesses. In fact, it is so general that one would think that gossiping about and judging others was the thing to do. How often have we heard of young men who were criticized, judged, and ridiculed because of their peculiarities and yet who eventually became leaders in their different fields of endeavor.
Jesus Christ, some 2,000 years ago, realizing man’s tendency to make unrighteous judgment, said:
“Judge not, that ye be not judged.
“For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
“And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
“Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
“Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.” (Matt. 7:1–5.)
It seems he is saying that unless we are without fault, we are not qualified to judge.
The reason, therefore, that we cannot judge is obvious. We cannot see what is in the heart. We do not know motives, although we impute motives to every action we see. They may be pure while we think they are improper.
It is not possible to judge another fairly unless you know his desires, his faith, and his goals. Because of a different environment, unequal opportunity, and many other things, people are not in the same position. One may start at the top and the other at the bottom, and they may meet as they are going in opposite directions. Someone has said that it is not where you are but the direction in which you are going that counts; not how close you are to failure or success but which way you are headed. How can we, with all our weaknesses and frailties, dare to arrogate to ourselves the position of a judge? At best, man can judge only what he sees; he cannot judge the heart or the intention, or begin to judge the potential of his neighbor.
When we try to judge people, which we should not do, we have a great tendency to look for and take pride in finding weaknesses and faults, such as vanity, dishonesty, immorality, and intrigue. As a result, we see only the worst side of those being judged.
“Sometimes even when our friends are accused of wrongdoing or gossip is started about them, we disloyally accept and repeat what we hear without knowing all the facts. It is sad indeed that sometimes friendships are destroyed and enmity created on the basis of misinformation.
“If there be one place in life where the attitude of the agnostic is acceptable, it is in this matter of judging. It is the courage to say, “I don’t know. I am waiting for further evidence. I must hear both sides of the question.”
“Only by suspending judgment do we exhibit real charity. It is hard to understand why we are ready to condemn our neighbors and our friends on circumstantial evidence while we are all so determined to see that every criminal has a fair and open trial. Surely we can try to eliminate pride, passion, personal feeling, prejudice, and pettiness from our minds, and show charity to those around us.
“Let us look for the good rather than try to discover any hidden evil. We can easily find fault in others if that is what we are looking for.” – “Judge Not, That Ye Be Not Judged” by N. Eldon Tanner
Gossip is the worst form of judging. The tongue is the most dangerous, destructive, and deadly weapon available to man. A vicious tongue can ruin the reputation and even the future of the one attacked. Insidious attacks against one’s reputation, loathsome innuendoes, half-lies about an individual are as deadly as those insect parasites that kill the heart and life of a mighty oak. They are so stealthy and cowardly that one cannot guard against them. As someone has said, “It is easier to dodge an elephant than a microbe.”
What a different world it would be if we would put into practice what we have all heard so many times: “… whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.” (Matt. 7:12.) Instead, we are all so inclined to judge others by a standard different from the one by which we would wish or be willing to be judged.
If we could accept and practice the second great commandment, “Thou shall love thy neighbour as thyself” (Matt. 22:39), and really learn to love our neighbors, there would be no vicious gossip or bearing false witness.
We never gain anything or improve our own character by trying to tear down another. We have seen close friendships destroyed through words spoken
May I humbly say in all sincerity that I love the Lord with all my heart and that I love my fellowmen. I hold no hard feelings of any kind toward any man, and I sincerely pray for forgiveness wherein I have offended anyone. I realize, as the Savior said, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”
Are you willing to make the commitment?
I, ____________________, commit to not judge others today or the rest of the week.