“Then Pilate said to Him, “Are You not speaking to me? Do You not know that I have power to crucify You, and power to release You?” Jesus answered, “You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above.” (John 19:10-11, to 1st period; New King James Bible Version.)
“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.” (Words of Christ Jesus, Matthew 7: 1 & 2; New King James Bible Version).
“And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” (Words of Christ Jesus, Matthew 7:3-5; New King James Bible Version).
“Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. And again, “The Lord will judge His people.” (Hebrews 10:30; New King James Bible Version).
Every individual on Planet Earth has a unique identity, unique life-time experience, and a belief-system based upon all the nature and nurture factors that have occurred since birth. From these influences, we have all developed our own opinions on the right, or wrong, of everything we have encountered in our life experience here. So, the one thing we all do, very well, is judge those whom we believe live and behave in ways contrary to our own beliefs about how things ‘should be’.
After all the thousands of years of civilization, we still can’t seem to cut other people any slack when it comes to their developed beliefs. Without much coaxing, we pronounce quick judgment over others, even when we only believe they may have done something wrong, by our laws, or our own code of what is right. We simply allow ourselves to become a judge, jury and sometimes executioner in thought, before we have all the facts—and even then, we want to hold our position, whether right or wrong, when a real jury convicts, or doesn’t convict, the accused.
It doesn’t seem wrong to recognize the bad behavior and serious crimes we see reported on our daily news channels. With little help, we decide where we stand on who is guilty, or innocent, of some crime; then, believing someone is guilty, we often feel hostility against these accused ones, despite the fact that we’ve never even met them! In fact, it can feel right to make such observations and judgments, which we rush to do, without shame. Thus, we have just witnessed why wars still exist on our planet. We all want to be RIGHT about what beliefs, religions, and judgments we assert; and we want everyone else to follow them.
In our modern-day times, with all the instant information assaulting us on every TV channel and radio station, we have become de-sensitized to wrongful judging, and we’re becoming quite used to playing the role of judge, jury and executioner, in our quick response to what we hear in the media (whether true or false). With every tragedy being played out in the media, peoples’ lives are being torn apart, as we are entertained by their tragedies.
So, when did we, as a nation and around the world, begin to throw brotherly and sisterly love out the windows of our minds? When did we even lose the concept of innocency before every court, until guilt is proven? What’s happening to us that we rush to judgment, nation-wide, whenever we hear of a new tragedy, or possible criminal behavior, that has become someone else’s downfall?
I wish I could say I am innocent of such rushes to judgment—but I can’t…especially when I’m bored. I like to be entertained, and I like the mystery of trying to figure out a criminal case, before a jury is even convened. I tend to forget that so much trouble in the world is torturing good people, every day; and it doesn’t exist for my entertainment. I also tend to forget that we are meant to love one another, and our neighbors as ourselves, rather than condemn people we don’t even know.
But, just a few days ago, something has happened to me, and I’m a changed person because of it. Here’s the account of my sudden Eureka moment:
A few year ago, and with the speed of a train, I fell into this trap of believing that it was my place to judge another’s life and behavior. I can’t even blame the news media because this story wasn’t even in the media. The tale came from someone I knew and it concerned really bad behavior and criminal activity about someone else I knew. At first, I was in a state of shock; but soon I accepted, as truth, every word I heard.
Over the next couple of years, my anger and condemnation against the accused grew, even though I had no proof of anything. With my whole heart, I believed what the story-teller told me, and I mentally became the judge over the accused individual. For more than four years, I believed the guilt of the accused, because I trusted the story-teller and just couldn’t believe anyone would make up such a story. Because of my judgmental state, I began to avoid this accused one and continued to feel great anger against this individual.
Well, you guessed it! Just a couple weeks ago, the original story began to change. Another scenario began to unfold that put great doubt upon the story of abuse and criminal activity of the accused. Now, due to even more current events, the original story-teller has become suspect of lying about the whole thing.
I felt terrible about my feelings against the individual I had mentally condemned for so long. Possibly, and even probably, this individual had been innocent. So, am I now going to condemn the one who appears to have made it all up? No. I’ve seen the light! Today, the only truth I know is that I know nothing about what really did or didn’t happen, and so I am dismissing myself as judge over anyone. I am going to try to make up for my own cold behavior against the one I was mentally condemning, due to my rush to judgment.
Thankfully, I had never repeated to anyone else the original tale of wrong-doing I had believed in. I soon realized that I had just learned a spiritual lesson: the reason we are not, individually, to judge or condemn anyone, or decide innocence or guilt concerning anyone, is that we simply don’t know the infinite facts of any case. God, the Infinite Mind, does know.
While in societies there is a need for courtroom judges and juries, this is a collective, human process that is meant to keep all individuals from becoming the vigilantes that we are all prone to become, if given our head. In this human experience, (where both good and evil forces seem to exist) we need such processes to be in place, in order to help humanity stay within some boundaries for handling the bad and unloving things that occur to us.
Yet, into this human realm of the dualistic-seeming powers of good and evil, Christ Jesus, (as our way-shower through this temporary swamp we call materiality) gave to all civilizations and peoples the directive to love our neighbors, (which includes all friends and even enemies) as we love ourselves. In this pursuit and obedience to God, he also warned us against the wrongful practice of judging others, when he said, “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.” (See quote #2 at top of article).
Here, Jesus was showing us that when we judge others, we are equally judging ourselves. Why? Because while under this false sense of materiality, we all do bad and destructive things that do not fulfill the law of divine Love. We do the ‘bad’ because we believe we have been separated from God and our heavenly, harmonious realm of existence we call Heaven.
So, asleep to the realization that we are God’s spiritual, eternal children (and, therefore, not the mortal children of the flesh) we do all kinds of self-protecting, wrongful acts against others in the name of self-survival in an often hostile environment. We are in a waking, collective dream-state of believing we are separated from God’s spiritual, harmonious realm, which is really, invisibly, still with us all the time. We must each, individually, awaken to this spiritual, forever fact of our existence in Spirit—and realize that we are NOT a soul, or spirit, trapped in a finite form.
Our true identity is our everlasting one. It is our Christ identity, our spiritual identity, which is the same immortal, spiritual identity that Jesus showed about himself and his own individuality, when he was resurrected from the fleshly ordeal of death, only to show that the spiritual children of divine Spirit, God, cannot die—“for in Him (God, divine Spirit) we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.” (Acts 17:28; New King James Bible Version). (My emphasis in parentheses).
So, the directive to ‘judge not’ isn’t just something that will bless those we feel should be condemned for their human destructions. It is something that blesses us, even more. For when we are willing, and obedient to this divine instruction to withhold human judgment, and we leave all judgment and vengeance to God, we are recognizing a spiritual dimension and perception that we’ve lost sight of before. It means that we are looking beneath the material façade of everyone; and, instead, we are bearing witness to the divine goodness that is within us all, however it appears to be dormant in this human experience.
There is a divine innocency that dwells with the soul of everyone. When fully, spiritually awakened to whom we really are, (our own spiritual, Christly identity) we naturally do no wrong. That is so because when fully awakened, we can find no reason to go against the law of universal Love for all creation. Thus, when we turn away from destructive tendencies in ourselves, we begin to perceive that God is still with us, (no matter how invisible Spirit is to our material eyes). One way or another, we find we are delivered from our difficulties, despite whatever wrongful things others have tried to do to us.
Deep down, in our spiritual sense, we want to be given the chance to fulfill our more spiritual view of ourselves and God’s delivering presence with us. We want to be free from all the forms that fear can take in our finite sense of selves. And we want to really know who we are (the children of God) and where we really are (the ever-lasting kingdom of God, that has never left us).
The false, human sense of ourselves also wants to be free from any earthly harm, or anyone who tries to harm us. Our only challenge is to believe in the ever-present, loving protection of God-with-us, so that we learn to depend upon it, TRUST in it, even when we seem to find enemies everywhere. But what we believe is so important; it is the power behind the forms our material-seeming lives take. Jesus showed the power of belief that each one of us holds within ourselves. He said, “Go your way; and as you have believed, so let it be done for you.” (See Matthew 8:13; New King James Bible Version). Believing in something is mental strength; it is our deep-down beliefs which we manifest in this human-dream-experience. Belief is really faith in something, and faith in our God-ordained good is the catalyst that brings the good into physical form, in some way.
When we begin to recognize that we’re still in the spiritual kingdom of God (however invisible it is to our material sight) and our belief in this spiritual fact begins to dominate our thinking on the subject, we begin to change our human experience for the better, and our God-given good that we didn’t believe in before becomes apparent humanly, whether it be health, abundance, safety, or peace.
Thus, when in human affairs, through our own desire to be more obedient to the divine law of universal Love, we are really learning to hate only the crime, but never the misguided individual who is guilty of the crime. In so doing, we bring this same mercy to ourselves, and we can begin to forgive ourselves, also, for whatever we’ve done in the way of destruction to others. We all fail the test of divine Love, now and then; but God doesn’t expect perfection until we are fully awakened spiritually.
In the biblical book of Habakkuk, Chapter 1:13, it says of God: “You are of purer eyes than to behold evil, And cannot look on wickedness:” (New King James Bible Version). We are fortunate that this is true for all of us.
Throughout our temporary life experiences here, we can find our true Selfhood in our universal (spiritual) Christ identity. Then we begin to live as a child of God, rather than a temporary traveler through the realm of finite, materiality. When fully awakened spiritually, we discover that our real selves are spiritually good—not destructive in any way. This is so because in the everlasting, harmonious realm of Spirit that we occupy (but don’t perceive as yet) there is no lack of any good thing, and no necessity for any wrong activity. As we learn, progressively, what we deeply desire to know, we will See with our real (spiritually mental) eyes all the ever-present good, and human protection that was invisibly present, all along.
So, although here in this false, material sense of reality we all do bad things in the name of necessity and self-preservation, we will eventually awaken out of the Adam dream of materiality, and with open eyes, we will recognize ourselves, and all others, still in the realm of Spirit, God, safe and sound forever—where no one makes the mistake of judging anyone, anymore.