Can we judge ourselves?


#1

We are all human, so in one sense judging ourselves would be a human judging a human. None of us is God, so we are in no position to judge any human. I know we need to regulate ourselves, but too often I at least seem to cross the line from self-regulation into self-condemnation. Are we not required to be merciful and forgiving towards ourselves, since we are as human as anyone else? I find the balance between regulation and forgiveness/mercy hard to achieve.


#2

Scripture states in several places that we are to “love our neighbors as ourselves”. Implicit in this is that it is usual to love ourselves. If your primary self observation is negative or judgemental it may be beneficial to seek counsel (therapist or spiritual director) as to the underlying motives.

Good luck!


#3

From your brief description, it sounds as though you might be scrupulous. If you doubt God’s forgiveness, His mercy to a sinner, or the fact that He loves you infinitely as you are, I would definitely say that scruples are involved. The professional opinion seems to be that scruples are a form of OCD, and that counseling can be of help.

We all have difficulty being patient with ourselves. All of us struggle with various personal failings - yet God knows the stuff of which we are made and is always merciful to a repentant sinner who struggles against sin. He does not make eternal salvation impossible to achieve. His mercy and grace is sufficient for us.

Since you seem to consistently return to thoughts of self, it does lean toward scrupulosity/OCD. That battle is very winnable, as it clearly bothers you. Inasmuch as you cannot rid yourself of certain imperfections, rather only struggle against them, take comfort in the fact that God is pleased with that.

I don’t think that He would be so pleased if you constantly judge yourself, as this can lead to, as you have mentioned, self-condemnation. If Gods does not condemn you, why condemn yourself? Again, scrupulosity.

Have you spoken of this with your confessor? I think that is an excellent place to begin, as Father will be well aware of the tension and dynamic between sin and forgiveness within the self.


#4

The right balance is to balance the pros with any cons, hence the pros are a given.

What gifts are you grateful for and it is a joy to exercise them? Appreciation of words, animals, crafts or the gifts of others? Any little deficit in just attitude towards others that we detect as we go, we can take a small mental note of without shame and figure out a way of doing even better next time!

May your cup be “more than half full”!


#5

yup. Imagine what the world would be like if no one expressed their opinions.
Opinions are not the same as judging by your definition.
We’re all called to make daily judgment calls.


#6

I find it is a delicate balance of becoming aware of our own sinfulness, and of the love and mercy from the Father -given as a Grace to us. So this awareness is not a condemnation we should feel towards ourselves, but at our sin because this separates us from God. In loving introspect, looking each day to see how we may have offended God. And also, to see the great gifts he has given us this day.

Thinking of the virtue of humility.

eventually, yes, this brings us to a place of compassion for ourselves, and then for others.

"Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Lk 6:41 - 42 NASV
and
“You hypocrite, first take the beam out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”

Conversion is an ongoing process, as we grow in holiness. And in this process, we will advance much quicker if we look at ourselves, even on a daily basis, for we are all sinners. I think this is what Thomas Merton is saying in New Seeds of Contemplation
“Instead of hating the people you think are war-makers, hate the appetites and disorder in your own soul, which are the causes of war. If you love peace, then hate injustice, hate tyranny, hate greed - but hate these things in yourself, not in another.”

Written as I understand things today, peace and good to you!


#7

We are all sinners and God loves us.
I have heard of self-condemnation before but never self-regulation.
Rather than dwelling on regulations and control try to looking at your strengths and weaknesses in terms of self-knowledge, self-love and self-giving to others.

God doesn’t want us to live in a prison of self-regulations. He wants us to be free to love, to give, to rejoice and to worship Him freely without fear.


#8

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