Yes, we really need to be most careful with our judgments, since it is very easy for us to fall into rash judgments. Given our personal weaknesses and the conditions around, that tendency to make rash judgments is always there. We need to be wary of it and do whatever we can to counter it.
We are reminded of this danger when Christ said, “Stop judging, that you may not be judged. For as you judge, so will you be judged, and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you.” (Mt 7,1-2)
We need to understand these words of Christ well. To be sure, he does not mean that we should never make judgments, since in the first place we are by nature made to judge. The fact that we have intelligence and will, and that we are meant to know and to love, simply presumes that we are made to judge. We cannot know anything nor love anyone if we do not make a judgment.
Thus, in that gospel cited above, Christ said took it as a given that we are made to judge. “For as you judge, so will you be judged,” he said. What Christ wanted to tell us that we just have to make sure that our judgments are fair and prudent. And given the limitations of our human condition, we have to be most wary when we make judgments.
Nowadays, with all the “Mariteses” around and the pervading culture of spreading all kinds of spins and narratives in the areas of journalism, politics, etc., we need to make extra effort to be protected from the pressure of making rash judgments.
But more than just being protective and resistant to this tendency of making rash judgments, we should enhance our duty to take the initiative to make charitable judgments of everyone and everything.
That means that we should try to think well of everyone and of everything. Even if we see defects, mistakes and other forms of evil, our judgment should remain charitable rather than simply condemnatory. Of course, we should keep the distinction between what is right and wrong, good and evil.
When we are faced with any form of evil, let us remember that we actually are given a golden opportunity to grow in charity. That should be the attitude to have in that kind of situation. Obviously, we would initially feel bad and can fall into anger and the like when evil comes our way. But we should not stay long there. We have to convert that situation into an occasion to be more charitable.
For this to take place, we obviously need to identify ourselves more closely with Christ who is the personification of charity and sound judgments. He gives us the proper example of how to be charitable in our judgments and reactions to the various events and conditions of our life.
Let’s realize that we can only see, judge and know persons, events and things properly when we have a vibrant interior or spiritual life, a vital link not only with theories and principles, but with God himself.
Let’s never dare to emit judgments that are mere products of our own making. We have to make them always in the presence of God and motivated by nothing other than love for God and for everybody else. We have to continually check on the rectitude of our intention, and the correctness and timeliness of our words and deeds.*