Thursday, February 13, 2014

Be Not Judged

Judge Not, That Ye Be Not Judged

Are we looking through a dirty window? Are we seeing life through a warped view of
pessimism and judgement of others? When we judge or compare others, we are digging ourselves into a hole that can trap our future and bring loneliness and broken relationships. Unrighteous judgement comes from Satan, and can never lead to happiness or prosperity.

When the Savior Jesus Christ was ministering to the Nephites after His death and resurrection, He taught an important principle of Charity and Love. In 3 Nephi, Jesus Taught : 
"And now it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words he turned again to the multitude, and did open his mouth unto them again, saying: Verily, verily, I say unto you, Judge not, that ye be not judged." - 3 Nephi 14:1
With this simple verse, we can learn so much about the nature of our Heavenly Father and about how we are expected to live. We learn that judgement is not ours, but is God's. Only Heavenly Father has the right to judge us for what we do. He gives us commandments and it is up to us to follow them. Obedience brings us closer to God. Disobedience moves us away from Him. And although we may see the results of this disobedience, we are still to love and respect everyone for their use of agency.

There have been a number of times where I have seen the devastating impacts of a seemingly harmless thought about another person, turn into bitter judgement and rumors. School can be a rough time for some people. Some are different; physically, mentally, spiritually and in personality. There was once a young boy who started school at age 5, just like everyone else. At first, he made some friends. He would run around the playground playing tiggy and hide & seek. Life was great! But that harsh reality of life took a turn.

Over time, those friends that he once had, started to realise that this little boy was different. He didn't look the same, he talked funny, he didn't do things like everyone else. One by one, the friends that this boy once had distanced themselves. Many of the 'tough' kids would pick on him for these differences. With bullying very much becoming part of everyday life, school wasn't his favorite place.

By the time he reached high school, he had but one friend that he could talk to. The prospects were not looking good for the next 5 years. So, remembering what his parents had taught him, he pressed forward with courage and a hope for a better day. Depression and anxiety set in as the bullying intensified. Rumors flew faster that anyone could imagine. Life seemed pointless and just plain miserable. What was the point of continuing if it was just going to be like this?

Often we don't realise the impact a small judgement or remark can make. Our simple actions can leave a lasting impact on others. We have the power to build or destruct. Choose wisely, one day we will be held accountable for our actions.

Forgiveness Means Letting Go of the Past...

Paying attention to judgement is our choice
Life isn't easy, nor was it meant to be. At times we can be impacted on by the actions of others. God has given us the gift of agency, or the power to choose. We have been commanded to use this gift to help others and obey His commandments. Not everyone, however, uses their agency for good. I am often asked, Why do bad things happen to good people? The simple answer, because this gift of agency is often abused by others.

I have learnt that "Forgiveness means letting go of the past". As we utilize the Atonement of Christ in our lives, we can feel the peace and healing that comes from forgiving others. God expects us to forgive so that we can be freed from that dark burden. Sometimes, it is hard, but I can testify it is worth it.

Brothers and Sisters, God is our loving Heavenly Father and He loves us. I know that He lives and wants the best for us. From my life, I have personally seen the effects that others can have as they make these false judgments. You can either build or destroy a life, simply by what you say and think. That power is in your hands.

Next time you are faced with a situation where you could make a judgement, don't. Trust in the Lord, and show charity and love. You will see the blessings come into your life as you follow the example of Jesus Christ. Judge not, that ye be not judged. May God bless as you work this Christlike attribute in your life.

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