Being Judgemental of Others


#1

Hello everyone! I hope you all are having a nice day. I’m here with a question about being judgemental.

I was recently told by my friend (the same one discussed here: forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=843750) that I’m too judgemental. She told me that I’m unaccepting of people’s entireties and I reject their ways. I only stick to what I believe is right and just and don’t take any contradiction.

Now I don’t want to be judgemental, mostly because of what the Bible says. But really, I don’t know what it means to judge others. What I assume as being judgemental is right above, but I was hoping to create this thread to clarify.

My friend is very accepting of others; thus she has a sort of “do what you want, just as long as you don’t set fire to the building” sort of attitude. From what I can see, she’s indirectly saying I should adopt an attitude similar, at the least, to this one. I told her that I don’t really know what being judgemental means, and she, in a nutshell, told me this. She told me I should simply stop rejecting other people and their ways, even if it bothers me. I should stop trying to run away from them.

As I said, all I’m looking to do is find out what it means to judge others. I want to be accepting of others, but I don’t know where the limit is. I don’t even know whether or not it’s a bad thing to be accepting. I’m pretty confused. :shrug:

All help with this matter is appreciated. Thank you everyone!

God bless,

THP


#2

I wouldn’t worry about this friend and again just move on and find some new ones. High school and teenagers is a fickled time. Just step back, focus on your school work and hockey. While one can be too judgemental in one sense, it is also used way too much by others to shut down the conversation specially if it about behavior that is wrong. One can’t tell from your post what is going one between the two of you or who is right or wrong or what the comment is about. You don’t have to accept or approve bad behavior in anyone.
The famous sermon on the mount quote about judging others is quickly followed by the statement “you shall know them by their fruits” which is a form of judgement. I wouldn’t worry about a teenage girl and what she says. Blow her off and move on.


#3

I’d need to know the circumstances in order to answer that.

Being judgemental, to me, means saying that someone did…X…therefore, that person is a bad/evil person…or a good person.

We can’t judge the ultimate destiny of one’s soul. Only God is to do that, because we don’t know the full story. Many the person has some kind of heredity mental problem and does things wrong, may not know the difference.

Maybe the person had a terrible childhood. People with severe trauma, especially in the first 5 years of life, sometimes have a harder time at leading normal lives. So, we can look at these people and judge them saying they are “evil”. However, had we been raised in their exact circumstances, perhaps we might have not only done the same but even worse!

So, God says NOT to judge. Further, we don’t know God’s mercy.

We are told if we judge others, by the same yardstick, we will be judged. So, if we judge people strictly, we will be judged strictly.

However, a lot of people today misunderstand what “judging” means, mistakenly thinking it means about actions. If someone is in a state of sin, often not wanting to change to stop, he will say, “Stop judging me!”

However, I don’t think that’s what “judging” means. For example, we can know that lying is wrong, stealing is wrong, killing is wrong. To say it is wrong is NOT judging, in my opinion.

Saying someone is evil, trying to say the destiny of a person’s soul, is. To me, that’s one difference.

We can’t go by external appearances. For example, we can see someone at Church giving to the collection and think “good”. However, maybe that person works for the mafia, stole that money for all you know!

Okay, then you could see someone stealing and think “bad”. However, maybe that person is stealing to help someone, doesn’t know any other way, intends to replace it all as soon as possible, is only doing that out of sheer desperation and poverty.

So, do you see how unfair it would be for us, such limited beings, to try to judge anything without knowing ALL the circumstances, intentions, thoughts, heart, mental state.

A person who kills who is mentally ill is not the same as someone who commits the exact the same crime with a healthy mind. A person who commits the same crime is judged differently, say, if it’s “premeditated” or “in cold blood”. “Premeditated” is weighed more severely, generally.

There are degrees, even with the same exact crime…“extenuating circumstances” come into play…other factors that would affect the judgement, situations, making it either more or less grave.

Someone who kills…in self defense…is treated differently than someone who just attacks someone without any provocation.

Did I answer your question? So, while you can’t judge the final destiny of a soul, and in some ways, the action, you can often say, in general…“killing is wrong” without it being a “judgement” in my opinion. In general, killing is wrong.


#4

Yes, you’ve answered my question. Thanks for your guidance.

So from what I can gather from your post, it’s okay not to be accepting of all people, but it’s a bad thing to judge whether someone is destined for hell or Heaven based on their outward appearance?


#5

Well, due to our faith, we may look at someone who has same-sex attraction, for example. We are NOT to say…“That’s an evil person”. We are to treat that person with respect as we treat anyone else. However, if that person acts out on that, we can say that we believe it’s wrong to act out on that, because it goes against our faith, if asked. I would NOT consider that “judgement”.

However, whether or not it’s always prudent, or a good idea, to speak out is another matter for another thread. We typically can’t go around, much as we might like, telling everybody, “Hey…you’re wrong!” (even if they actually are). Well, for one thing, it probably won’t work, often the person already knows he’s wrong, and it often it only will create further tensions, making matters worse.

So, we have to “pick our battles”, decide when it’s prudent to say something and when not. This is a very difficult matter to determine, as you can see on the forum. We can argue whether or not we should, or shouldn’t, say something for months and not agree!

Again, I don’t know if that helps at all. :wink:


#6

My opinion is that you have absolutely no right to say such a person is not saved or will go to hell. You are not Jesus. Only Jesus have the power to finally judge a person. Consider the good thief. He stole, killed, bullied etc…but in the end he repented and was saved. Jesus is the Divine Mercy and He came to us to save us not to condemn us. So while I agree that you should avoid people who may have a bad influence on you, you should never decide for them.

Having said that I would not hesitate to give good general advice to anyone who asks for it. We are supposed to evangelize our faith.


#7

Here’s a Bible quote that might be helpful, and I admit I could also learn from it.

No foul language should come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for needed edification, that it may impart grace to those who hear. Ephesians 4:29.

In other words, insofar as possible, we should all try harder to say only good things about people, try not to be critical of people.

When we need to be say something, to try to say it, gently.


#8

I don’t know the circumstances which cause someone to say you are “judgmental”, but I’ve been told the same thing. I have a lady in our widow/widower lunch group who kept calling me on the phone, usually every 30 minutes from about 9pm to 3 or 4 AM!! She kept telling me I was “judgmental”, because several people in the group of pals, who are not Catholic, but know that I am, often ask me, “are you working at Church this week?” or they’d say “Are you serving at your Mass this week?” and I would answer according to what I had planned that week. She insisted (and she’s Catholic) that I “should never discuss my religion, or mention my deceased husband, even in passing, that all I should talk about is the weather or football scores”. Etc… Now, they all know that I don’t watch football at all, one or two of them do, and they discuss it and I listen. But, if they ask me if I’m working at Church or going to Mass, she thought I shouldn’t answer and should discuss only the weather or football.

Much later, I found out this lady drinks a lot at night and suffers severe bouts of depression (which alcohol aggravates). To this day, she will hardly speak to me, and generally avoids me. Because of her constant phone calls at night, I have cut down from meeting with the group twice a week or sometimes three for lunch, to just once a week and have made more friends at Church. The others tell me to just ignore her, but when the phone rings all night long, she’s slurring her words, and tells me I am “judging” her, it’s just easier to avoid the group and pray for her. Why in the world my working in my Parish, and honestly answering a question about my religion or what I am doing at Church that week is judging HER, I can’t figure out. She obviously has a problem! They have started calling me a couple times a week to tell me she isn’t coming that particular day, and would I please come join them. They have been good friends, and I don’t want to lose them.

Sometimes people have problems of their own, and therefore they will attack others who they feel are vulnerable. I’m not sure what all of her problems are, but they seem to be connected to the Catholic Faith, although she attends Mass at her Parish about 10 miles away. I guess my being in the Church feels threatening to her. (???) Perhaps your friend sees you refraining from some behavior she indulges in, or living in a manner that makes her feel guilty, so her only recourse (in her mind) is to attack you!

Don’t know what you can do but pray for her, make other friends and try to avoid provoking her, although that can be hard, if your presence alone is provoking guilty feelings in her.


#9

A lot of people, when confronted, even nicely, with their faults or corrected will react defensively, even aggressively.


#10

So I discovered!! However, I was working in the Catholic Grief Support with the approval of my Pastor, so I suspect that this lady thought I knew a lot more about her than I actually did!! At the time she “attacked” me verbally, I knew nothing except that she was also a widow and Catholic. I’m sure our (mutual) Priest knew a lot more, and perhaps she thought he had told me more. (He hadn’t, of course). I did talk to him eventually about her, in confidence, and he asked me to try to work with her, as he wasn’t getting anywhere with her. All I did was try to be extra nice to her at lunches and invited her to a couple of Parish Potlucks. That’s when she began to attack me. I don’t think our Priest even told her that he asked me to be friends with her and try to help, but when I invited her to the meals at the Parish nearby where I go, that’s when she became hostile. Go figure!!???


#11

The worst judging is when we judge evil to be good and good to be evil.


#12

That is what happened to me when I had a conversation with my parents over the issue of masturbation three years ago. I went to confession regarding this action that I committed, and then committed it again three days later. I told my parents what I did, and they acted all “Dont’t worry about it’s okay for guys your age, okay.” I kept bugging them throughout that week regarding this topic, and they kept being. Then I looked to the catechism for guidance. Hear are the paragraphs from the catechism of the church regarding this issue:

2352
By masturbation is to be understood the deliberate stimulation of the genital organs in order to derive sexual pleasure. “Both the Magisterium of the Church, in the course of a constant tradition, and the moral sense of the faithful have been in no doubt and have firmly maintained that masturbation is an intrinsically and gravely disordered action.” “The deliberate use of the sexual faculty, for whatever reason, outside of marriage is essentially contrary to its purpose.” For here sexual pleasure is sought outside of “the sexual relationship which is demanded by the moral order and in which the total meaning of mutual self-giving and human procreation in the context of true love is achieved.”

Then I read them the part regarding actions that might lesson the seriousness of it, immaturity being one of them. After telling my mom about this, she was all “You are at that age etc, etc,” But as far as I’ concerned, I masturbated with premeditation and deliberation, not accidentally or out of immaturity. This lead me feeling angry, confused, saddened, and a little judgmental to them on the inside.


#13

You should offer up prayers for your parents as they seem confused as to what the Church teaches. Immaturity would be a mitigating factor as is force of habit,but it is never an excuse.


#14

I will prayer for them. Thank you.:slight_smile:


#15

Hadn’t thought about it quite that way, but some of the above posts bring out that point quite well. I am able to clearly see what you mean about judging someone’s actions (sin) as being acceptable under circumstances.


#16

Interesting. I’d actually side with you on this matter, and I’m sorry about your frustration. My parents would never have told me masturbation was okay, period. Your parents sound a bit permissive as well as misinformed as to their own faith. Glad you know about the Catechism. You might want to see if you can get a copy to keep at the house as a reference anytime there’s a question in the future.


#17

Beware of coming across with a “Jesus loves me but He can’t stand you” attitude. A self righteous attitude can turn off even the closest of friends.


#18

My friend is very accepting of others; thus she has a sort of “do what you want, just as long as you don’t set fire to the building” sort of attitude. From what I can see, she’s indirectly saying I should adopt an attitude similar, at the least, to this one. I told her that I don’t really know what being judgemental means, and she, in a nutshell, told me this. She told me I should simply stop rejecting other people and their ways, even if it bothers me. I should stop trying to run away from them.

I would just like to add that it isn’t easy to separate being judgmental to having sound judgement, nor is it easy to separate the sin from the sinner.

For example, judging that a fellow parishioner doesn’t take the faith seriously because they turn up to Church in tatty trainers and worn clothes is being judgmental. That person may be materially poor, believe that they should give to others rather than spend on themselves, have no dress sense etc. I am sorry to say that this seems to be a big problem in many churches (not clothes but judging others) and I am ashamed to say I have been guilty of this.

However, sound judgement is when you distance yourself from people whose behavior is not acceptable or dangerous to you e.g. if you hang out with drug addicts, alcoholics or people with loose morals it endangers your soul. I used the word behavior deliberately because we are supposed to love the sinner and hate the sin. We should treat the drug addict and alcoholic with loving kindness but prudently not put ourselves in a situation where people think we are saying drugs and excessive drinking is okay or where we could fall into their sad and wrong ways. If it feels wrong, then it usually is wrong.

Is there anything at your parish or diocese that you could join e.g. a Youth Group, You can then have fun, meet new people and receive solid spiritual guidance at the same time?

Just some thoughts.

PS. Don’t be what other people want, seek to be the person God intends you to be.

May God bless you and steer you safely along the straight narrow path.


#19

Op didn’t say anything about if someone is saved or where he thought they would spent eternity. We are not clear about the conversation between the two. But op expressed interest in this girl from his previous post and link to it. For all we know, she could have accused him of this to show her distain to him and as a way to have him go away. The best thing for op to do is move on, focus on school and chalk is up at flakey teenage girl yak and that she is not worth the trouble.


#20

It is very important NOT to judge a person’s guilt before God as commanded (Mt 7:1-5). We are commanded not to judge others regarding their motives, intentions, and guilt before God (a judgment reserved to God).

But it is vital to follow the command to judge all actions, speech writing against truth and in this way we can help others by offering truth.

Christ and His Church’s Scriptures tell us:

“Stop judging by appearances, but judge justly.” (Jn 7:24).

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but underneath are ravenous wolves. By their fruits you will know them” (Mt 7:15, 16).

“Every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. So by their fruits you will know them.” (Mt 7:19-20).

“Test everything: retain what is good.” (1Thess 5:21).

“The spiritual person, however, can judge everything but is not subject to judgment by anyone.” (1 Cor 2:15).

“I, for my part, although absent in body but present in spirit, have already, as if present, pronounced judgment on the one who has committed this deed…” (1 Cor 5:3; read 1-13).

“I am speaking as to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I am saying.” (1 Cor 10:15).

“Beloved, do not trust every spirit but test the spirits to see whether they belong to God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” (1 Jn 4:1).

“I know your works; I know that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either cold or hot. So, because you are lukewarm, neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of my mouth.” (Rev 3:16).

We can’t judge according to truth by being mesmerized by others and giving them adulation, but according to the teaching of Christ’s Church, Her Tradition and Her Scriptures.


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