When Judging Ideas, Judge Lightly

Yesterday, in response to the reactions to the Anthony verdict, I put out a brief warning against making judgments against people.  Today, I want to suggest a word of caution against making any kinds of judgment.

Over the last week or so, a rather fascinating discussion exploded at jrdkirk.com in response to the New York gay marriage law.  It’s been a fascinating conversation for many reasons, not least of which is the fact that people keep posting replies – and it’s been over a week!

One of the interesting things I’m picking up from the conversations is the way people come to the issue (and this issue is not alone) with various prejudices.  Since Dr. Kirk is a professor of New Testament, it makes sense that much of the conversation is conducted with an eye (at least) towards the Bible.

Some have blatantly approached the Scriptures with ambivalence.  Some rather baldly declare the Good Book to be irrelevant.  Others read it with something of an un-nuanced trust, while still others recognize truth in the Bible, but only after very careful readings.

That’s not all that surprising, I suppose.  It merely represents the full spectrum of opinion.  More disconcerting are those who refuse, before argument can be made, to hear other options.  The result: commentors complaining back and forth about how thick-headed all other commentors are.  The conversation devolves and I unsubscribe.

But anyway, this post isn’t about people’s perceptions of the Bible.  It’s about judgments.

Judgments made and held with a kung-fu grip prohibit the possibility of dialog with those who do not hold the same perspective.  Rather than a conversation, one is left with something of a bludgeoning, in which the parties argue their points at higher and higher decibels in hopes the other will relent.  In the end, one participant succeeds in killing the other, though neither change.  Both lose.

Hold your judgments loosely, friends.  You will be challenged.  You may change.  You may stay right where you were.  But you will always grow.

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One thought on “When Judging Ideas, Judge Lightly

  1. a friend of mine once said something just like this, oh yeah, JESUS. : )

    Thanks, Mike. It really is extremely important we not only avoid judging people – which is really a form of objectification, but also we are free to disagree in an honoring way. It is wonderful to have an opinion, but we get in trouble when we perpetually want to separate from others, in friendship and in respect, due to differing opinions.

    Plus, it’s much more free, joyful, and focused to live without judging others (not to mention it makes it much much easier to love them outlandishly).

    here here!

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