"We are not satisfied being God-like in our capacity to love; we also want to become God-like in our capacity to judge, which is how the serpent tempts us. but in aspiring toward the atter, we lose our capacity for the former, for unlike God, we cannot judge and love at the same time."
Gregory Boyd, Repenting of Religion, 68.
How this quote comes back to me time and time and time again.
I was not created to bear the weight of judge and yet how often do I take it on, subtly at times, more blatant at others. This is wrong. That is right. This is good. That is evil.
And I know that I have to make that decision for myself and guide my children in the way they should go. But when I enter into that with others, particularly in my head, the root cause is usually I'm feeling a little insignificant and, somehow, finding something "wrong" with someone else, makes me not feel so "wrong" about myself.
The problem is - and it is huge, huge, huge - is that I cannot, completely am not capable, of judging and loving at the same time. I was not given that capacity. It's either one or the other.
God gave me the job to love. Love as He has loved me. Love as I love myself. Love so that those who don't yet know Him take notice and wonder what's up.
One day at Six Flags a couple of years ago, I was waiting for my family at the end of a ride. Watching people, it took a few minutes before I caught my thoughts and took them captive. But here's the essence of what was in my head:
"top too revealing"
"shorts too short"
"I can't believe her parents let her out of the house like that"
"such inappropriate behavior"
And on and on until I realized I was judging. Sad thing is at that time in my life, that was my auto-pilot.
Sad. sad. sad.
Glad, though, that I had heard a teaching or maybe even been reading in this book I quoted above because I stopped myself and said, I wonder what would happen if instead I thought/spoke blessing over each person as they pass in front of me...
Radical change. I'm talking the atmosphere in my head shifted dramatically and instead of judgements filling my head and heart, I felt love and life and joy begin to well up within me as I began to bless each person and then get the heart of the Father for them and in an instant I began to see them, if only in part, as God does.
Judge or love?
I know from far too many experiences that judging just does not bring life. In fact, quite the opposite.
Love, however, while costly and oftentimes painful, is life-giving and redemptive and partners with God in the way He originally intended humanity to interact with each other and all of creation.
It's baby steps.