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Judging

Article from WATAKI.COM


"don't judge me..."
- anonymous Christian

"do not hope that you've made any progress, unless you consider yourself inferior to all others."
- john of the cross

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what "judge not, lest ye yourself be judged" really means:

"don't look down on other people for their sins, because you're just as bad as they are."

many christians don't understand this.  they think that "judge not" is just something you shout at other christians who happen to be hassling them.  but it's not, it's actually quite an important verse.

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more than just about anything, christians are accused of thinking that they're better than everyone else.  and often, this is true.  which is sad.  they seem to think, "God's on my side, i'm good, i don't sin, i'm saved.  i'm better than these people who are against god, who are bad, who sin, who aren't saved."

their mistake, however, is to believe that they're good, that they don't sin.

Christ said, "no one is good but God himself."  the credit for any good in us can only be given to God.  we can't take any credit.  we can't get all full of ourselves.  we can't consider ourselves better than anyone else.

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becoming Christian involves realising that you're a sinner, and repenting of those sins.  but you can't forget that realisation.  God's truth is like a light, and in that light nothing can be hidden.  deception, flattery, distraction, manipulation, acts and masks... they can fool men, but not God.  take a good look at yourself in that light and tell me that you're a selfless, good person.

i mean it.  spend a few months just studying yourself, asking why you did this, why you did that.  always searching for your motives.  try to work out what it was you were trying to achieve, what gave you the urge to do this, or that.  if you can do this, and then honestly say that your motives behind just about everything are not selfish, then you're a better person than i.

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but if you're anything like me, everything you do will be to satisfy your own selfish desires, your own pride.  seemingly selfless acts will be secretly to your own advantage.  and if you realise that, and then take a look at Christ, you understand just how much you suck.

and when you realise how much you suck, you can't look down on anyone.  how can you look down on anyone, knowing how low you are?  how can you consider yourself better than anyone else when you know that you can take no credit for any goodness in you, if any?

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so what do you do?  try to become good?  work on it?  try to build up to being a person who is good enough to look down on others, but at the same time is too good to be that proud?

no, it's impossible.  and worse than that, thinking about how good, or humble, you are is self-centred.  you can't psyche yourself into being good.  it's a bit of a paradox, really.

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the only answer is to forget about comparing yourself to others, forget about how good you are, forget about yourself entirely, and concentrate solely on serving God as best you can.  only then can you be humble, when you're not thinking about it.  only then can you not judge others, when you're not thinking about yourself.

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