Don't judge me, but I have a confession to make.
I've noticed this trend in my life. When I am feeling insecure and pressed down, my negative and critical thoughts about others increase. When I do not feel confident in myself, I judge more. I am more annoyed and irritated when I’m in line at the store. I get impatient at unusually slow walkers. Simply put, I have forgotten who I am, moreover, whose I am and I take it out on other people. I know it's not right and I don't always want to fume at the people in front of me (but seriously, the doorway is not a good place to stand); but the truth is: I judge people.
A while back, I was struggling with judging a particular person in my life —let's call her Alice. Circumstances led me to see Alice through tainted lenses. Whenever she was around, I only experienced frustration, annoyance, and impatience with her. Talking to a priest about my struggle, he told me to pray for three things.
Pray that the Lord may show you who He is.
When we pass judgment on other people, we sit in the seat reserved for the Lord. Only God has the right to judge because only He knows the hearts of man. God is justice, but he is also mercy.
Pray that the Lord may give you His eyes to see this other person.
In my eyes, I had a thorn in my side. I could only see the negative characteristics in Alice. But God sees all of us—the bad...and the good. In His eyes, Alice is His beloved daughter. I prayed that the Lord would help me see that too.
Pray that the Lord may show you how He sees you.
It was wrong for me to judge Alice, because she is loved and created by God, but it was also vital for me to realize that truth for myself. Despite my struggles, my failings, and my shortcomings, I am loved. I don't need to judge another. I am seen and known and loved.
It took a while. I prayed. I judged, repented, and judged again. But slowly, as I asked the Lord to give me new eyes, I began to see the positive parts of Alice. We didn't become best friends, but I have gained a new respect and patience for her through my struggles. I also gained a respect for myself. Letting God show me who I am gave me a confidence to see others as they are.
Ask the Lord to show you who He is. Ask the Lord to show you who you are. Ask Him to show you how He sees you.
Image via Ray Ban