It seems like every day I’m reading an article about some person being “body-shamed”, “mommy-shamed”, “relationship-shamed”, “clothes-shammed” or “job-shamed”. Enough with the shaming already! We have gone overboard with judging people for this, that, and the other. As kids we were pretty used to being teased about every little thing. Not to say that some teasing didn’t go too far and that we may not have scars from it. However, we chalked it up to it being a part of growing up – growing pains if you will.
Once you’re an adult the expectation is for teasing to go away or at least get a million times better. It appears that nowadays with adulthood, teasing has turned into shaming. The intent is still the same – to make others feel less than or to make oneself feel superior. Seems that it’s considered bullying when children do it and shaming when adults do it. Nevertheless, the Bible calls it one thing: Judging!
Social Media, unfortunately, has become a place of judgement. It has given everyone a platform to voice their opinions, good or bad, on every possible subject, person or situation with or without repercussions. It’s pretty easy to comment when hiding behind a computer and a screen name. It feels like things have gotten progressively worse or maybe we just are exposed to it more. I’m not sure, but it’s obviously something that’s always been around, so much so, that even the Bible addresses it. Now, all judgement is not bad. I’m speaking of the judgement that finds fault, criticizes, or condemns.
How can we criticize when we can’t see into someone else’s life or situation? No matter what we think, we never have the full picture. That still doesn’t stop us though, we act like we know. If we are honest, criticizing or judging others gives us an ego boost. It shows how great we are against someone else’s failure. It makes us feel better about ourselves because we become the standard of measurement. Hmm, that’s something to think about. Also, some of us actually get pure enjoyment out of hearing about or seeing someone else’s shortcomings, failures or faults. Pretty sad. But most of the time I think it’s an outlet for hurt or revenge. Either for the person that caused us hurt or as a result of some hurt. You got me, so I’m going to get you. Or someone got me, so I’m going to get someone else.
The Bible says in Matthew 7:1-2:
Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
So the same way you look down on someone else or judge them, is how you will be judged before God. You will be judged by the same standards you hold others to and with the same weight you choose to execute that judgement. Ouch! If you can dish it you better be ready to take it! But who are we to stand in judgement of someone else as if we are God himself? As if we are without fault? Those of us who show no mercy towards others will not be given mercy at the time of God’s judgement (James 2:13).
We all fall short and are guilty of something. So why aren’t we less critical? Even when we know how damaging the criticism or judgement can be, we still do it. We take pleasure in someone else’s suffering. It’s because we don’t examine ourselves; we ignore our own issues. We try to hide our imperfections and choose not to truly see ourselves. If we looked at ourselves first, we’d be less critical of others. Matthew 7:3 it says: “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” That is to say, you worried about what’s going on with them, what about what’s going on with you!
As Christians, as representatives of Christ, when we are critical or judgmental of others, the very thing we claim to stand for, the Gospel, is now shown in an unfavorable light. Because we aren’t demonstrating what Christ stands for – love. And we become no different than the world. We are to be different. We are to show the same mercy and kindness that Christ shows us. Our faith is based on love, grace, and mercy. We are not perfect and have no authority to stand in judgement as if we are, to anyone. Don’t be hypocritical, show compassion to your brothers and sisters! Stop shaming!!