I’m reasonably confident in saying that there’s not a person on this planet who has not felt unfairly judged at some point. While we may feel justified in imposing verdicts on one another, when we are on the receiving end the feeling can be quite hurtful. It is not uncommon to react with anger, defensiveness, arrogance or justification of our actions.
I’m not going to elaborate on the reasons why people judge. People can be petty, jealous, and cruel. Some struggle with issues of insecurity and need to make others look bad in order to feel better about themselves. Some try to divert attention off of themselves and something they may have said or done that is unflattering. Others use it as a bullying tactic to elicit a response from the other party. In any event, those points are relevant only to the extent that we each need to be aware of why we engage in such self-destructive behaviors as judging others (and we’ve all done it).
I have been brutally judged by those I have been closest to. Without valid facts, one family member fabricated a tale claiming that my business practices are unethical and that I misrepresent my credentials to my clients (all lies). Occasionally on facebook people have attacked me as being a charlatan, delusional, greedy, and “misguided”. Granted, these are rare occurrences and intellectually I understand, to some degree, their issues. I have also questioned myself to see what, if anything, I am doing to convey that impression. Perhaps I need to reassess the manner in which I present myself and share my knowledge.
Regardless, being judged hurts. I have no issue with someone questioning my knowledge. While I feel confident in any information that I present as facts, there is always a possibility that I am mistaken. Directing me to a more current or reliable source to show me the error of my thinking is actually beneficial to me and to those who are impacted by what I share whether during a lecture, on my blog, on a social media post, or whatever. I find debating issues from opposing viewpoints to be stimulating and beneficial. It’s this whole integrity thing that bothers me. I have always prided myself as being a person of truth and high moral character. I am here to serve the Lord, plain and simple, in whatever way He asks. If I make money doing so, fine. If not, I do it anyway. To be accused of “trolling sites for her own personal gain, hawking her book, claiming to know some ‘great truth’ only to jack up sales” is disheartening, offensive, and completely without merit.
So how does one move beyond the critical and unfair judgments thrust upon them without consent?
~ First: Always begin by asking yourself, “Why does this bother me? What issue is being triggered inside me? Pay no mind as to why the other party is so judgmental. Those are their issues not yours.
~ Second: Don’t personalize what they are saying. Their rudeness reflects who they are, not you.
~ Third: Remind yourself that each person is at a different place in their personal journey towards becoming fully spiritual. Be patient with them. Be understanding and compassionate. Forgive them for any offense they may have committed against you.
~ Finally: Search your soul. Is there any truth to what the other person is saying? Is this revealing anything about your character that you need to look at? How are you presenting yourself to others? Is it misleading in any way? What does this say about the people you associate with? Learn the lessons and convert this experience into one of great personal and spiritual growth.
While it is hurtful to have others judge you, this is just one of many things that are out of our control. However it does not have to cause us distress if we choose to view it as a learning experience. I remind myself that more than 2,000 years after the birth of Christ, Jesus is still being unfairly judged, criticized, and condemned – simply for sharing the Word of God. So who am I to complain about a little condemnation now and then?
No one ever said life would be easy. Nor were we promised an trouble-free life if we choose to follow our Lord. I work for God. So while some may question my motives and the pay is not always great, He compensates me in ways far more valuable than money. And He throws in a few bucks along the way, just to cover my expenses. I keep it all in perspective.
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