My husband and I have a friend named Mike. This wonderful young man has always been an example to us. He is also one of the few who taught us a very important lesson about judging others. He made us realize that when we judge another, we are actually more on the losing side.
Mike left his province to pursue a career in Manila. Yet, despite that his apartment being near the chapel, he still goes back to his province every weekend to attend Sunday Services there. It made my husband and I wonder why he would endure almost 3-hours of travel back home when he could just spend his Sundays in our ward. We came to a conclusion; or perhaps, it’s safe to say, a judgment. “Maybe he isn’t comfortable with a city ward.” We were so wrong.
When my husband had a chance to talk to him, he asked him why he still spends his Sundays in his home ward instead of attending services in Manila. His reply was quick, yet insightful. “Brother, you see, I am one of the few Priesthood holders in our ward. I know they need my help.” He could have easily chosen the easy way and attended Sundays at our ward. Yet he was willing to sacrifice for service.
Judging others is an easy thing to do. Almost every day, we sometimes can’t help ourselves from passing a negative judgment about a certain person. Of course, there are those in the Lord’s kingdom who have been set apart as judges in Israel, people like your bishop who are called by Heavenly Father to righteously judge and help his children through mortality. It is when we take it upon ourselves to judge others unrighteously that problems arise. Judging others seems harmless. Most of the time, we keep it to ourselves. Sometimes, you share a judgment with a certain group of friends, but If no one knows about it, what is there to lose? Apparently, there are many things. Here are some of them.
We Lose Our Chance Of Knowing And Learning From Them
Because we have different experiences in life, we all can learn from one another. If we decide to judge someone, we sometimes stop trying to know that person better. If we avoid them, because we have made some assumptions about them, we miss out on some of the things we can learn from them. Who knows? The person you are not speaking to may have the same hobbies as you do. The words from the song “Should You Feel Inclined To Censure” can serve as a reminder for us. It says: “Those of whom we thought unkindly oft become our warmest friends.”
We Lose Opportunities To Serve
Service is one of the ways we can strengthen relationships with the people around us. Inspiring stories about service have one common theme: those who offered help knew what the recipients needed the most. To effectively serve, we must know the people we serve. When we choose to judge rather than know them better, we might fail to see many service opportunities.. Isn’t it sad to know that we could miss the chance to extend love and help just by judging another person?
We Lose Sight Of Their Potential
One piece of encouragement from Elder Dale G. Renlund, is to see others through the eyes of our Heavenly Father. Doing so can help us see them, not as who they are now, but who they can become. When our perception is clouded by judgment, we cannot see this.
A Better Choice Than Judging Others
So, what can we do to remind ourselves to not judge each other? Here is an answer from President Dieter F. Uchtdorf:
“We simply have to stop judging others and replace judgmental thoughts and feelings with a heart full of love for God and His children. God is our Father. We are His children. We are all brothers and sisters.
The people around us are not perfect (see Romans 3:23). People do things that annoy, disappoint, and anger. In this mortal life it will always be that way.
Nevertheless, we must let go of our grievances. Part of the purpose of mortality is to learn how to let go of such things. That is the Lord’s way.”
No matter how hard it is, may we always try our best to see the good in others. May we all learn from the example of our Savior. Let us not be on the losing side, and choose to love and serve rather than to judge.