A while back I had the chance to have a conversation with some friends about how and why we sometimes seek to delegitimize others. In that conversation one of them brought up the question of the differing ways that one can judge. There is judging as discerning and seeking to understand as a judge would do in a court case, and there is the simple minded rejection of that which is different from what we are used to. The scriptures teach us that we need to be extremely careful in the ways that we judge in a story of the wheat and the tares. We need to be careful to make sure that we do not zealously rip out wheat that we have mistook for tears. I believe that this is so important to remember particularly because we are also taught that God is actually the one who will be providing that final judgment.
In talking about judgment Sister Okazaki taught an important lesson that helps us see the act of judging in an even more productive way. She said, “Judging yourself and judging others because of them is not okay. Judging is such an important job that God the Father reserves it to his Son for the last day–and promises even then that Jesus will be our advocate. You don’t have to judge another. You don’t even have to judge yourself. Just do you best. We need diversity. We need differences.”
-Chieko Okazaki, Cat’s Cradle, p. 58