“Once you know who you really are, being is enough. You feel neither superior to anyone nor inferior to anyone and you have no need for approval because you have awakened to your own infinite worth.” – Deepak Chopra
“We all deal with being unfairly judged.” – Vin Diesel
“Being judged and found lacking by the people who were supposed to love you never left anyone feeling all right.” – Mariana Zapata
“Men should be judged not by their tint of skin, the gods they serve, the vintage they drink, nor by the way they fight, or love, or sin, but by the quality of the thought they think.” – Adela Florence Nicolson
Every one of us has a facet of our journey through this life determined to define us – a set of circumstances, events, or conditions that rest at the center of what we are here to learn, experience, and overcome.
I know when my time is done on this earth, one of those defining lessons for me will be how I dealt with judgement – feeling as though I could never measure up to the standards of others and more importantly to the standards I set for myself.
Judgement is a disease of the human condition. Each of us is constantly evaluating, rating, and grading who and what is more valuable to us based on our ego’s determination of what suits us best. We want to hear, see, and experience only those things that support the images we hold of ourselves and others.
Judgement in and of itself is harsh, but when it comes from someone you love deeply, it can change you forever. When a person you hold preciously inside of your heart like a spouse, child, parent, or friend speaks or enacts a form of judgement against you, it can create scars that last and become perpetual. I have taken this kind of judgement in my own life so seriously that I embraced it as truth – believing in my heart I would never be good enough, say the right things, or ever act in a way that could satisfy anyone.
When you embrace judgements like this, your self-image changes. As a result, you do everything in your power to avoid the deep, lasting hurt it creates. You avoid talking and spending time with family, you dodge any attempts to start new friendships or relationships – finding it hard to be in any kind of situation where evaluation and measurement (work, school, or healthy competitions) are prevalent.
As well, you turn those judgements on yourself – becoming your worst critic. You look in a mirror and see all the flaws – understanding why you’ve been rejected and not seen as good enough for those you’ve loved. You over-analyze your thoughts and what you say – judging every contemplation and every word you speak or write. The judgements have destroyed you and now you are getting in on the destruction yourself. It becomes a very twisted sort of merry-go-round you continually ride – finding it difficult to stop long enough to get off.
You look hard at how you have judged others – wondering if those judgements have come back on yourself with vengance.
Now….please don’t judge me 😊 I’m not sharing this for sympathy, but to be truthful and vulnerable enough to help you analyze how judgement has impacted your own life – how you have given it, received it, and how it has effected your own self-image and self-worth.
Can you relate to the idea of never being able to measure up?
I alluded to the fact that judgment is humanistic, but even turning to our spiritual side when it comes to judgement has its own set of issues to overcome.
It starts with the verse, “Judge not lest ye be judged.” (Matthew 7: 1-2). Nothing like getting judged for judging 😊
The Scriptures are full of judgement – a reason why many individuals avoid seeking a relationship with God knowing in their hearts they could never measure up to His standard.
In fact, each of us will face Judgement Day (Ecclesiastes 12:14, Revelation 20: 11-12, and Matthew 12: 36-37) – a day of reckoning for each of our words and actions. Now to those of us already suffering with poor self-esteem and highly self-critical in nature, how can one face up to the judgements of God without really plunging into a state of depression and hopelessness?
Can any of us ever really measure up?
Here are some things to think about if you find yourself immersed in judgement – some things to ponder whether you are the one doing the judging or are suffering the effects of being judged yourself:
See All Forms of Human Judgement as Fallible and Imperfect – Especially Your Own
No one has suffered judgement as harsh as Christ. When the Son of Man encountered it, His words speak volumes:
“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” – Jesus speaking in Luke 23:34 ESV
I believe in my heart that if I knew the result of the judgements I have made against others, truly understanding their repercussions, I would have thought twice about egotistically proclaiming them. In turn, we must take the same approach when it comes to others – realizing they truly don’t understand the implications of their actions. Everyone of us is imperfect – making our judgements as fallible as we are. When we can hear a judgement and immediately correlate it as limited, faulty, and deficient in nature, the mark it leaves on us diminishes. This same concept holds true to negative self-judgement – generally coming from a place inside each of us that is unrealistic and imperfect.
Judgements are Generally About the Person Doing the Judging
“The Second Agreement: Don’t Take Anything Personally. Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.” – Miguel Ruiz, Author of The Four Agreements
If you haven’t had a chance to read The Four Agreements, I highly suggest you do! It is an easy read – one that can be accomplished in one evening. I was given this book by a doctor I was seeing during my divorce.
This concept isn’t an easy one to embrace – especially when the judgements are coming from someone you love and cherish – who you see as infallible and whose opinions matters to you. But all judgements (yours and mine included) come from an egocentric place – filled with projections and imperfections. They are more about the person doing the judging then they are about the person being judged.
God’s Judgements Are Accompanied by His Immutable Characteristics of Love, Forgiveness, and Mercy
Even the Bible verse, “Judge not lest ye be judged”, is less about judgement and more about imploring us to see the life-altering effects of making them and internalizing them. No one understands the human condition more than the Creator Himself!
“The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.” – Psalm 103: 8-14 NIV
I love how this verse emphasizes the power of the atonement – taking away our condemnation and making us right in the sight of God 😊 The Perfect Judge knows each of us intimately, loves us dearly, and is continually providing us with the grace and forgiveness He has earned for us 😊
I guess when it comes to measuring up, the truth is none of us can. Imperfection can never become perfect of its own accord. In the same way, fallible individuals cannot make perfect judgements about themselves and others.
Our mission is to see any judgement as flawed in the first place – never giving it the weight we think it deserves. When we judge others, we must see it as a reflection of ourselves more than we do about the person we are falsely accusing. We must learn the power behind our words and their ability to scar and damage others in ways we cannot see or fathom. As humans, we often “know not what we do.”
In our rejection, we must learn to take refuge in the only Judge who can perfectly assess us – a Judge who is always loving, forgiving, gracious, and merciful 😊
Only in Him will we ever measure up.