• easpenner

Passing Judgment

Updated: 7 days ago

“Don’t judge a book by its cover.”


Whispered in our ears from the time we were tiny tots.

Explained in more detail through early elementary.

Pounded into our minds amidst the ever-changing phases of middle school cliques and attitudes.

Hit home hard through the awkwardness and uncertainties of our teenage years.

Philosophically tossed back into our lives through thought-provoking college courses.

(Yet, we still do it…)

And why?

We live in a world driven by social media. By appearances. By our waist size. By our clothing brand. By the designer of our car. By the value of our home. By the carats of diamonds draping our necks, ears and fingers.

A society that assesses our value (or lack-thereofin one blink of an eye. That determines our worth by one fell tweet. That closes our book’s chapters with one admitted error. Mistake. “Mess up.” A culture that is often ruthless. Unforgiving. Relentless.

Yet, running all around this big, judgy world are countless a.m.a.z.i.n.g. people. And I love getting to know people. Not because they have a Coach purse. Or a Kenneth Cole watch. Not because they drive a BMW. Or are part of an elite profession. No, sweet friends. I adore getting to know people, because each-and-every one of us has a story. To shape. To reveal. To share.


And more often than not, one childhood-game-of-gossip-intensifying-“telephone“…or a mere bad-day…or questionable interaction can alter our perception of another, causing us to bypass what might be an incredible relationship. Friendship. Learning experience.

And that’s heart-breaking. To tell you the truth, it’s just plain-and-simply not okay.

Why am I even sharing this today?

The other day, I was a bystander to a situation (not involving me) encompassed with gossip. With belittling. With making-fun-of someone else. By grown-ups. It honestly hurt my heart to listen to it. It wasn’t anyone I knew well. And I didn’t know the person who they were talking about. But it was so totally derisive. And my mind started spinning with thoughts.

How in the world would I respond if someone were to judge me like that?

Immediately, this scripture comes to mind:

“And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’” (Matthew 25:40).

My hope through sharing this today, beautiful souls, is to encourage e.v.e.r.y. single one of you to pass judgment. But not in the way you may be thinking. My challenge is this:

when you find yourselves in the thick of a gossip session, condemning another Christ-made being, and all eyes fall on you to join in the “conversation”, simply say, “I pass. I would never want to be judged in this way.” If you need to, shoot a quick prayer up to the Greatest and Only Judge of all time for a little boost in courage….and WALK AWAY.

Oh, please believe me, precious friends. I am not sitting here writing this unscathed. Without experience. Of being in the midst of judging. Scorning. Defamation. But you know what?! It n.e.v.e.r leaves me with a good feeling in my heart. My soul. In fact, it actually leaves me wanting to run to that person and apologize. Even though, more likely than not, they were totally oblivious to the judgment being tossed their way. (And yes, there is a difference between “venting” and “bashing”; but that in-and-of-itself would need its own post.)


It has become a personal goal of mine to avoid these situations. To step away. To stay quiet, if I do find myself in the middle. But do you want to know my next aspiration? To speak up. And no matter who that person may be (or what kind of mistakes, missteps or poor choices we think they have made), to let others know that in no way do we have a right to denounce another.

Each of us holds such an i.n.c.r.e.d.i.b.l.e. power. In the depths of our heart. In the warmth of our hand. In the impact of our words. In the reception of our ears. To take a minute. And break through preconception. To {take a} pass on judgment. And to really get to know another, through her personal story. From the bottom of her soul.


And for that remarkable opportunity, I am beyond grateful.

This post is part of a link-up with ember grey.

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