That is what judgment can do to a soul. It can take a beautiful individual and rip it to shreds.
Who are we to judge?
Who called you to judge? Criticize? Set the standard?
We all do it. We often judge the book by the cover. Or the girl by the shoes. Or the mom by her children's manners. Or the man by his financial choices.
We are not called to sit in the seat of judgement. It is a seat reserved only for the Eternal Judge. He created me and He knows me, the motives of my heart. If I am being judged by anyone other than the most high king, who knows me so intimately and still loves me as his own, it inconsequential. And yet, to be judged is painful. It strips away joy.
I cannot truly be myself if I think I will be judged. If I am near the judger, I am automatically on edge, aware of my every move, word, action. There is no freedom to be me. Walls are erected. Have you ever been in that position? Maybe you've been around someone that has little tolerance for children, so you suddenly become acutely aware of your child's behavior, manners, speech, volume. Judging them through the eyes of your own judger.
I once attended a women's group that left me feeling judged because of my wardrobe (or lack thereof). I began to notice that the women in this group dressed a certain way; wearing only the best brands our city could offer. While I dressed appropriately, I could not afford, nor did I want to spend our hard earned money on the new spring collection. Judgements were made and walls were built. Friendships that could have been were missed.
So I've been pondering these questions lately:
In what areas do I judge others?
What have I missed out on because of my judgements?
Am I allowing other's judgements/standards to hinder me?
Am I listening only to the one true Judge?