Faithfully Thinking: The need for us all to show more grace and less judgment

Do you know what it means to judge not lest you be judged?

In my simplistic explanation, it means that you shouldn’t judge someone when you don’t know all the facts about their life because eventually, someone will do the same thing to you.

Is that fair? To be judged on the assumptions of others instead of facts?

Two weeks ago, someone my dad knew passed away from Covid. Then her son-in-law died from it as well. You would think that in a time of grieving, there would have been more compassion and less judging. Yes, there was compassion, there were condolences offered, there was comfort without judgment even offered. But there were also comments, on a Facebook post announcing the death, where the family could see the comments, about how the people should have been vaccinated.

Were they vaccinated? I haven’t got a clue and the people making the comments probably don’t know either. They were assuming.

If they were unvaccinated maybe they had a legit concern, whether medical or otherwise, about the vaccine, but the people commenting didn’t care. They wanted to sound superior. They wanted it to sound like they made the right decision, and the other person made the wrong decision and therefore deserved to die.

Well, if we are going to go that route then maybe the people who made those comments will die one day and someone will say to their family “well, should have stopped smoking,” instead of “I’m so sorry for your loss.” Maybe someone will say, “Welp, they deserved to die, they drank too many beers a week.”

Is this where we are right now? Where we judge and assume when someone dies? Where we judge their whole lives based on decisions they made that we don’t agree with?

I can answer these questions by saying yes, that is where we are at.

As a society, we have lost compassion.

We have lost understanding.

We have lost the ability to extend grace.

We have lost the ability to see a situation and not project our personal experiences on it.

We have lost the ability to see in anything other than black and white.

We don’t know what truth is anymore, but we decide to adopt one for ourselves and then try to force our truth on others.

As Christians, we believe Christ is the truth. We believe the Bible is the truth, but I do not believe God wants us to force that on anyone. If someone does not accept that our faith is true, do we look at them in judgment? Do we ostracize them and believe we are better than them? Some of us do, but we shouldn’t. God gave us free will and part of that free will is being able to decide for ourselves how we feel about him and what we believe.

If someone doesn’t believe the same as us politically, should we believe we are better than that person?

What about if they make medical decisions differently than us? We can express our concern for them, but once we’ve done that, it’s time to step away and let them live their lives.

I know people who read my blog know that I am unvaccinated for a legit medical reason, but I want you to know that even if I was vaccinated, I would disagree with judging the unvaccinated. I may be vaccinated in the future and if I am, I absolutely refuse to sit and judge those who don’t vaccinate, the same way I vow right now to not judge those who have chosen to vaccinate themselves.

I am not impressed with those who get vaccinations and brag about them or try to shame those who made a different decision. I am more impressed with those who get vaccinated and move on with their life. No matter who I am “impressed” with, I don’t want to be the person who judges a person based on their personal decisions, including their decision to brag about getting a vaccine, or whatever I think is a little strange simply because I wouldn’t do it.

Some people make decisions I think are poor, and if there are drugs or alcohol or abuse involved, the decisions are poor, but I need to do my best to understand why the person has made the decision they have. It’s not always because they are being purposely selfish. Sometimes people are being selfish in their decisions, but many times they are making a decision because they feel it is right, not because they are trying to hurt someone.

My wish for this next year is that we extend more compassion, that we judge less, that we hate less, that we stop bullying people who don’t believe like we do, especially when a person is deep in grief and hurt. You have heard the saying “Don’t kick a person when they are down,” but that is what is happening these days. When a person is grieving, they are being told they deserve to grief. When a person is frightened, they are being told they are stupid for being frightened. When they are hurting, so many people are standing on their wound.

I really hope that we will start showing more compassion this year and try to understand others just as we would want to be shown compassion and understood. Instead of judging someone, I urge us all to talk to them, understand them, or at least say to ourselves, “That’s their decision, not mine and they have their own reasons for making that decision. I will not assume what their reasons are based on their political party, their faith, their social media statements, or anything else.”

I hope you know that I am preaching to myself with this post as well. I need to have more compassion and understanding and it’s something I truly want to work on in 2022.

How about you? Will you join me in this effort?