Stop judging and you will not be judged.    Luke 6:37

The words of Jesus in the gospel today often meet protest. How can we NOT judge? We must make many judgments every day in order to survive!    While that might be true, the judgment Jesus is talking about here is not a positive force . Rather, he addresses the drive to feel superior over others and our relentless evaluations which may be incorrectly made and harshly communicated.

“Don’t judge me!” is a common battle cry when nasty disagreements arise between people  No doubt about it, nothing feels worse than to feel devalued  by those who lord their righteousness over us.  Yet, all of us engage in this dehumanizing behavior nearly every day –  in our thoughts if not always in our actions. Ridding ourselves of these constant negative evaluations takes vigilance and a heightened self-awareness. But it can be done. Start with today. Take a baby step. Direct the mind to your own personal mantra ready to replace the downward spiral of thoughts. “Come Holy Spirit, fill me with compassion.” Repeat over and over until the downward spiral passes. And it will.