Towards a Nonjudgmental life
One of the hardest spiritual tasks is to live without prejudices. Sometimes we aren’t even aware how deeply rooted our prejudices are. We may think that we relate to people who are different from us in colour, religion, sexual orientation, or lifestyle as equals, but in concrete circumstances our spontaneous thoughts, uncensored words, and knee-jerk reactions often reveal that our prejudices are still there.
Strangers, people different than we are, stir up fear, discomfort, suspicion, and hostility. They make us lose our sense of security just by being “other.” Only when we fully claim that God loves us in an unconditional way and look at “those other persons” as equally loved can we begin to discover that the great variety in being human is an expression of the immense richness of God’s heart. Then the need to prejudge people can gradually disappear.
Text excerpts taken from Bread for the Journey, by Henri J.M. Nouwen , © 1997 HarperSanFrancisco. All Scripture from The Jerusalem Bible ©1966, 1967, and 1968 Darton, Longman & Todd and Doubleday & Co. Inc. Photo by V. Dobson. Scripture chosen by L. Yeskoo.
For further reflection …
For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in [another’s] eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to [another], “Let me take the speck out of your eye,” when all the while there is a plank in your own…? – Matthew 7: 2-4 (NIV)