Sunday, January 4, 2009

Non-Judgment Day Is Near

I saw a bumper sticker yesterday that said, refreshingly, Non-Judgment Day Is Near. It was a simple statement that immediately touched me, as the simplest of thoughts are often the most profound. That one thought sums up the problems of the world. For most of our lives, those of us in Judeo-Christian society, or any society that is heavily influenced by organized religion, have been reminded that Judgment Day is coming. This reminder has been laden with fear and a desire to get people in line - to control them - to make them succumb to the ways of the religion out of worry that they would not be ready for Judgment Day, or for that final reckoning.

The result is that we are living in supreme judgment every day, with everything around us being about judging, whether it is the churches that measure us by whether or not we do everything in a way that is suitable to them, or simply the community that measures us by what job we do, where we live, what we drive. We judge each other through our prejudices and our reluctance to embrace anything different from our own ways. The message of Christ was for us to remove ourselves from judgment, but we have failed miserably in that endeavor. The very institutions that proclaim to be about Christ are perhaps the worst in following his primary message, but instead continue to judge and heap guilt on those that do not follow their chosen ways.

Imagine how amazing our world could be if we could just refrain from judging those around us and adopt an attitude more in the "live-and-let-live" way of thinking, dishing out love instead of judgment. If we simply toned down our negative thought to a lesser degree and increased our love and acceptance a tiny bit, the difference would be amazing.

If you, as one single person on this planet, looked within your heart and realized that your ways, your thoughts, or your choices might be best for you, but not best for someone else - or that you may not know someone's else situation enough to place your condescending thought upon them - you could make a difference in the world. That one little step could change your perspective and your life, and in turn, change the life of another, and another. Can you find it within yourself to lay down your judgment of others (and even your negative judgement of yourself, also known as guilt). Look at others with a willingness to see something good about them, and look at yourself with the same loving eyes. Make it a resolution for this new year to do this, one day at a time, and see the difference that it makes around you. I think you will be very pleasantly rewarded.

Set your goals on Non-Judgment Day instead of Judgment Day and it will make all the difference in your experience. That is the message of the Christ that has been forgotten and ignored. Seek to live it.

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