Judgment Call


Have you ever entertained thoughts of judgment when meeting someone for the first time or observing a situation involving a group of people?  Have you, yourself, ever been subjected to judgment?  How did it make you feel?  How did you handle it when others in your group judged someone?  Did you stand up for the person?  Did you feel it was your right to judge?  Just what are your views on judgment?


Face it at one time or another we all have been either the focus of, or the one who instigated judgment.  Why do we do this and how do we stop?  Is it human nature or are we too big for our britches and feel it is our duty to judge one another?


Most of us have been on one side of the fence and then on the other side during our life.  We are a product of our environment, but most of us have been taught the difference between right or wrong.  Did the lesson go in one ear and out the other or did it stick?  Do we rely on selective memory and sometimes we apply what we have been taught or are we giving in to the views of others and join the rest of the group in their assessment?


I recently was accused of making a judgment call and I thought I was just trying to express someone else’s point of view.  People jump to conclusions everyday without ever getting the whole story.  However, if we are prone to this then we need to hear everything, not just one side.


I had a former friend, who though devoutly supporting her child; she always found a way to slam the opposing side.  She would write it off as defending the rights of her child, but she never listened to what she said or how she came off to others.  One day I decided to point that out, by playing advocate for the opposing side.  I honestly wasn’t trying to start an argument, but rather I wanted her to see where that other person was coming from.  In fact, I walked on eggshells when I responded.  I was being extra careful or so I thought.  After the comment was carefully worded, I hit enter, but it popped off of the screen and I ignored it.  Maybe it was a sign to just let it go, so I did.  A few months later she posted a rather insulting post about religion and I made the decision to “unfriend” her.  I gave her a heads up and that is when she mentioned the comment I had made several months earlier and called me on it.  I could see in my mind her finger wagging in front of me – scolding me for my opinion.  I felt uncomfortable, but I stuck to my guns.


To make the story short, she and I are no longer friends and I do feel bad for hurting her feelings.  It was not my intention, but looking back, I can concede what I wrote could be interpreted as a form of judgment.  She already has had an uphill battle and my post only made her more aware of it.  Even though I was not judging her, she still felt that feeling of being judged because I posted another point of view.


It really got me to thinking am I judgmental?  I did not think I was, but I just wanted her to step outside of herself for a moment and see how she was being perceived as well.  That was the sole purpose of that original comment I posted.  I wanted to relay it is okay to have differing views.  It is okay to agree to disagree.  However, if her view is not the one you hold, then in her mind that became judgment, no matter how far from the truth that was.


People we are not always going to like what someone says or does.  We are not always going to approve of another’s opinion.  However, we all have a right to our opinion and our right to express that opinion if the need be.  I do not care how one dresses, what religion they choose to follow, their sex or orientation, their color, or whatever issue they decide to pursue.  I believe we all are equal and that we all should love one another and get along.  When you claim that you want your voice heard, yet you then choose to stifle someone else’s voice this forces that other view to be suppressed.  Where are their rights and why should they be violated?  We all should have the same rights and we all should respect those rights whether we agree with them or not.  Freedom of speech and expression is a powerful right everyone should partake of.


I started a war trying to defend someone.  I chose to point out another person’s views.  As a result, I was attacked and accused of standing in judgment by defending that other view.  Do I regret it?  Yes and no.  I will never regret standing up for someone, but I do regret causing anyone pain in the process.  You have to decide what battle to fight and what casualties you can live with.


I was taught not to judge lest I be judged.  Let me tell you I have a ton of flaws:  food addiction, past hurts and much more.  Yes, it has been thrown in my face that I am flawed, but honey we all are.  Not one of us can toss a stone without breaking a house of glass.


If we spend more time putting ourselves in someone else’s shoes, no matter how painful that can be, we can restrain ourselves from judgment or at least learn to restrain ourselves.  My former friend did not get it.  She thought by tearing me down because of my defending someone’s opinion, that she, herself, was not guilty of judgment, but she was.  I know she was wounded because she thought  I made comments against her child, which I did not, but rather she felt on the defensive because I chose to speak for someone else.  Had I not “unfriended” her, I would have never known she read the comment I thought was deleted.  I am not ashamed of what was written.  I just wish she would have not held it all in and failed to broach me about it.  We had known each over for nearly three decades.  Had she approached me, I would have apologized not for what I said, but for how I had hurt her.  I wasn’t standing in judgment, nor would I.  I was just trying to get her to see another point of view.


Judgment then comes from a misperception.  We assume and judge for we never know the whole story behind an issue or with one another.  We are subjective and not objective.  Judgment cannot stand if we have all of the facts.  As far as I know only one source has that advantage and only He can be the one to judge.  Let’s leave it in His court and walk together in peace and harmony.  Let’s accept one another and one’s views as they are.  We can be mature about this, hear others out, and decide for ourselves if we agree or disagree.  We can find a peaceful resolution.  Strip away the hurt, the disappointments, and just let it stand on its own.


In my case the lines of communication were not clear, only I did not know how clogged they were.  That is my regret and failure as a friend.  Friendships need to be constantly checked to see if lines are down or need repair.  If neglected, something like this can happen and a friendship can be lost.  Our emotions are powerful and can control us.  They can blind us as well and make us think we are being judged because of who we are, what we believe and what we choose to defend.  They can make us jump to conclusions which more often than not, are the wrong ones.


I have loved my friend and her whole family for many years.  I would never pretend to not know them, and I would never judge them.  If the lines were clear, I have to believe she would have seen that.  It hurts me that she is hurting.  It hurts me that she has responded by throwing in my face all of my mistakes, but I will never give up on this friend.  We may never speak again, but in my heart, the love for her and her family will always remain and I wish them nothing but the best.


I don’t want to be judged, nor do I want to judge anyone.  I just want to leave it in the hands of the Almighty Judge and move on.


By the way, I was never thinking of dropping her as a friend.  I just did not want to read offensive posts against religion.  My decision to “unfriend” her from Facebook, wasn’t meant to be disrespectful, but rather out of friendship I wanted to give her a heads up.  On Facebook friends are added and deleted all of the time and friendships can still survive.

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