“DO not judge, that you may not be judged.” (Mt 7,1) We should be careful when we read the gospel, otherwise we will come out with funny conclusions. With this passage, for example, if considered only in itself, then it’s clear we have to go against our very own nature. And that’s funny, indeed!
But the second line after that somehow puts those words in the right context. “For with what judgment you judge, you shall be judged; and with what measure you measure, it shall be measured to you.” These presume that we judge, but that we should judge properly. That’s the catch.
To be sure, as persons we are designed to think, judge and reason out, and together with these, we are supposed to love. All these are part of our human nature, part of what go into our being “image and likeness” of God in which we have been created.
We can’t help but do these, because they are our way of knowing and loving. We cannot know and love unless we think, judge and reason out. We just have to make sure that we think, judge and reason out with God, since he gave us these powers that have to be exercised under his law and terms, so to speak.
God is the very foundation of reality. It is from him that we come and to him that we belong. He is actually everything to us. It would be funny if we think otherwise, although that is entirely possible since we are capable to abusing our freedom, of thinking that we can be absolutely on our own.
Our usual problem is that we tend to think, judge and reason out, and even love outside the orbit of God, outside the purview of his laws and will. This is what our Lord meant when he said we should not judge.
We may be brilliant, with high IQ and all that, but unless we think, judge, reason out with God, unless our love starts with God, we cannot go far in our life without getting into some trouble or anomaly.
Without God, our life is already doomed. Without God in our thinking and judging, we are prone to be make rash judgments, to fall into fits of self-righteousness and into the subtle snares of envy, lust, deception, greed. In short, without God sin in unavoidable.
Without God our sense of justice would lack the elements of mercy, compassion and magnanimity. It would be a justice of vindictiveness, gloating and of furthering one’s interest at the expense of the common good.
The earlier we realize then that we need to train ourselves to think, judge and reason out with God always, the better for us. This is something that we have to teach around as widely as possible and as early as possible.
We need to break the barrier, cultural and ideological, that removes God in our thinking, judging and reasoning. This unfortunately is quite common, often reinforced by atheistic or agnostic biases, both theoretical and practical, that put the role of God in our lives as not important or practicable, at least.
Just look now at some current developments: political leaders trivializing the role of God when they do their oaths of office, a congressman proposing that God and religious images and activities be banned in public places, an RH bill that goes directly against moral doctrine, etc. These are a disturbing trend.
When we think, judge and reason out with God, we can tend to see things more clearly and completely. We can tend to approximate the truth, the common good and everything that is proper in our dealings with others.
Definitely, thinking with God enables us to go beyond mere knee-jerk reactions and even certain factors and conditionings, personal or cultural, that would make us miss what is proper in a given situation that involves persons and other circumstances.
Thinking with God will make us reflective and prudent, and will lead us gradually to the ways of wisdom. Our thoughts and judgments will be more balanced, the elements of truth, justice and charity well blended, able to ride out temporary difficulties.
We need to train everyone, starting with the young ones and in the basic things, like always thinking well of the others, learning how to think and even study and consult before we speak and do anything. We have to encourage everyone to develop virtues and to forge a healthy and balanced character.
The family, school and church play very important roles in this task. Let’s always strengthen them.