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Words of our Lord Jesus Christ: “Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.  Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” Luke 6: 37-38. These actions of judging, condemning, forgiving and giving will carry the same result. We will receive more than what we give. We should not judge or condemn because what we are seeing in the other individual is our own image, reflected as on a mirror.  We can only see in others what we have inside of us. Our fellowman is our mirror. It would be wonderful if we always saw the good in others, but we have not reached that point. Instead of focusing our attention on the faults of others, we need to see them only with the intention of knowing ourselves and making the necessary corrections based on what we saw. Also because as I forgive I am forgiven, if I can let pass the mistake I saw in the others and accordingly my own fault is also forgiven. “Give, and it will be given to you”.

In a deeper analysis, anyone who judges is not being impartial because his judgments carry their own standpoint. In reality,  it is impossible for us to know what the other person had in mind or what his intentions were at the moment of acting. We have no way of knowing what the truth is. Being judgmental is a bad habit we have ingrained in ourselves. The strain of judging constant is practically intolerable. It is interesting that an ability so debilitating would be so deeply appreciated. We judge what we don’tknow and then we fear being confronted for what we said. However, because everyone does it, we believe it is acceptable. We were advised not to judge, and not because it is not a good idea, but because we don’t have the ability to do so. To pass judgment is not a job that was assigned to us. Why would we want to find fault in someone God loves? We do not have the knowledge to make sound judgments.  This work was entrusted to the Holy Spirit who will judge with love and compassion.  That is what God has for us.

Knowing that it is not our responsibility to make judgments should be a great relief. It is one less responsibility we have. Let us practice granting our fellowman the benefit of the doubt.   Everyone - from his own point of view - always believes he is doing what he should be doing. Obviously it is not always well perceived and accepted by others as such. But we can give them credit for trying and for doing the best they can. If we think they are violating certain moral laws, we must intercede for them, ask God to correct their minds. We cannot change another person’s way of being, and we should not even try because that also is not our job. Our job here is only to accept them as they are and show them compassion.   In this way we extend the love God has given us. We must help our neighbors without expecting any reward from them. Let us remember that the results belong to God. We are only His representatives.

“Remember how many times you thought you knew all the "facts" you needed for judgment, and how wrong you were!  Is there anyone who has not had this experience?... Make then but one more judgment. It is this: There is Someone with you Whose judgment is perfect. He does know all the facts; past, present and to come. He does know all the effects of His judgment on everyone and everything involved in any way. And He is wholly fair to everyone, for there is no distortion in His perception. Therefore lay judgment down, not with regret but with a sigh of gratitude. Now are you free of a burden so great that you could merely stagger and fall down beneath it. And it was all illusion.” ACIM M.10.4-5 This is the time when the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ is observed, and a lot of people, during these 40 days, as an offering, suspend any activity that represents a big effort on their part. What if this year we pledge to not judge but to forgive those who trespass against us? That could put a smile on God, our Father, and it would represent a big difference in our spiritual growth.

"The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all."  2 Corinthians 13:14