“Those who are quick to censure may be very acute in judgment, but they are as yet very immature in heart… when our virtues become more mature, I trust we shall be more tolerant of infirmity, more hopeful for people, and certainly less arrogant in our criticisms.” Charles Spurgeon
Truth is, we operate our daily lives with a spirit of judgment.
Our paths are led moment-by moment by “sound” judgment: good or not-so-good, right or wrong, healthy or not healthy, meaningful or trivial, important or urgent… the list is never ending because life’s experiences are never ending.
We ARE Judgmental!
And so it is with judgment—a matter of conscious choices regarding ethics and wisdom. Life is all about making judgments and yet one of the very worse labels that can be attributed to a person is that he or she is “judgmental.” Huh? In this case I find that Charles Spurgeon offers helpful insight when he writes of that kind of inconsiderate judgment as consisting of arrogant criticisms.
So yes. We are judgmental. And yes, in most cases that is a necessary condition for making life-supporting decisions.
But, When Judgment Becomes Censure…
But what about “those who choose to censure others as a result of very acute judgments made with an immature heart?” Censure often arises from a deep personal fear of not getting one’s way. And our small egos have a very difficult time with not getting our way. We feel both threatened and belittled.
Hamlet Gets the Last Thoughts
For that reason, we are often better off saying less. In Hamlet, Shakespeare wrote “Give everyone your ear, but few your voice.” Our voice betrays the meanderings of our hearts, places better reserved for ourselves only.
Was mom right after all when she nudged us, “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all?” It most certainly is the kindest way to go.
Ill Will? No.
Photo courtesy of t:SIphotography at istockphoto