Elder Busche says "Never judge anyone" and President Uchtdorf says "Stop it." President Monson (all-time favorite talk ever) also tells just not to judge and if those men don't mean anything to you, even the bibles teaches us.
I've always struggled with this. Before Pete's addiction came to light, or even during the first few years I self-righteously judged all the time. I come from a family of harsh judgers, ever criticizing others. In a conversation with my family you will hear many subtle justifications for their elitist attitudes, but ultimately they just judge. I did too. Let's be honest, I still do.
So when I hear the counsel of wise men warning me not to judge I initially think of the unfair labels, accusations and assumptions I place against people. I think of the ways I point out their flaws and criticize their behavior and choices. I'm talking about people who are making "obvious mistakes" or who aren't living up to my ideals.
Then my own world changed, I desperately long to NOT be judged and to find acceptance from others. Not only that but I learned that everyone has secrets, and suffers quietly behind the scenes. I had an increase of love for others as I recognized my own need for love.
But recently I discovered that I still judge, I just judge differently. I judge the judgers. I blame and criticize the self-righteous. At first it was obvious to me in other people. A friend was frustrated that her sisters were so judgemental of her. I could recall being judgemental, and so I was a little defensive of the sisters. And then it occurred to me that she was being as hard on her sisters as they were being on her.
Why do we feel so badly when people judge us?
- We feel that their expectations of us are unreasonable.
- We long to be loved and accepted not on condition of our behavior.
- They don't know the whole story, but they think they do.
And yet, when we accuse those around us of being judgemental we are doing the same thing. We are withholding our love because of their behavior. We are having an expectation of them to be something they are not. And even though it may seem we know THEIR whole story, of course we do not. When we resent people for not being loving and kind toward us, we are no better than they are.
I'm not trying to come down on the suffering here, and place blame. There is a point to my soapbox.
Elder Busche says "Never judge anyone. When you accept this you will be free."
How does it make us free? Because I've discovered true beauty in love. Love for the suffering AND the self-righteous. I've learned that once I free myself of criticizing thoughts about others, I am no longer paranoid about other people having critical thoughts about me.
I'm not sure how that works exactly, but I AM sure it does.