Why do we judge so much? Because it makes us feel alive. But judging is not really life but artificial life. Judging is an addiction for which every human has a propensity. When we judge we feel high, we feel righteous, we feel like we are living passionately but it is an artificial high much as the high one would get from doing drugs. As judging addicts we have plenty of places available to get our fix in a moment from cable news commentators to radio talk shows to blogs. We get high on this stuff because it stirs a real passion in us for making a difference in the world. But unlike really doing something to change the world judging creates distance between us and the problems. We can listen to a commentator and walk away feeling stirred up and euphoric, even feeling as if we have been empowered but the reality is that judgment doesn’t heal the world or make things right any more than a drug addiction helps someone function better in their job or family.
As long as I stand pointing my finger I am incapable embracing someone with the love of God. Jesus talks of taking the plank out of our eyes before we try to address the speck in other’s eyes. As long as we are judging and judgmental we can’t truly see others or ourselves as we truly are because our vision is obscured by a giant two by four embedded in our eye sockets. We need eye surgery. We need to encounter God’s love for us in all of our failures and shortcomings. We need to truly see where we stand in need of God’s mercy.
The first step of walking out of any addiction is getting out of denial, of coming to terms with our own inability to change ourselves or the world around us. I have realized over the years that I am a judgaholic. I now consider myself in recovery from this addiction and am trying to live in response to the amazing love and generosity that God has shown me. I don’t think I will ever be healed of this addiction this side of the Lord’s return but I want to stay aware of my fallen condition so that I can be open to the very mercy and grace that can truly heal me within and heal my eyes so I can see with the light of truth and love.
Is viewing judging as an addiction perhaps a helpful way for you to look at things?
Are you in recovery?