Why does the world hate Christians? I'm sure there are several reasons, but the first thing to come to my mind is judgmental. And it's a valid concern. I certainly don't want some hypocritically self-righteous snob telling me that he's better than I am,
so why should anybody else? Since I'm one of those "golden-rulers", I've resolved not to judge people. Which is why I was quite taken aback the other day when a dear friend looked me in the eye and said quietly "You're always judging me." The hurt I had unknowingly caused my friend was ringing in my ears well after they left. I was thinking back through my experiences with this friend, good and bad, trying to think when I had judged them. Now let's set the record straight, although I don't always approve of the way my friend lives their life, I love my friend to death. But while trying to think when I had judged my friend, the question inevitably arose.
What exactly is judgement?
If I notice something wrong with a friend, do I simply ignore it for fear of "judging them?" That can't be right. If you were to walk up to me with an arrow sticking out of your thigh, I wouldn't say "Hey man how's it going?" My greeting would probably be more along the lines of "OH MY GOSH YOU HAVE AN ARROW IN YOUR LEG!!" So I don't think it's sinful to notice someone's character flaws. A spade is a spade after all. If I know a friend of mine is a recovering alcoholic, should I offer him a beer? Of course not. But isn't that judgemental of me to acknowledge his former addiction? Maybe so, but it would be foolish not to.
So then we still don't know what qualifies as judgement, do we? I would say that judgement is when I notice someone's flaws and think worse of them for it. Referring back to my friend, I've told them that I don't approve of some of their choices. I think that's what a friend should do. But after I've pointed out as humbly as I can that what I think they are doing is wrong and why, I stand beside them in love and sincerely hope that things go well with them. Because I don't care about being right. I care about them.