The presidential campaign is in full swing, and the political rhetoric and retorts are flowing. Whether it's candidates or pundits, party faithful or the peanut gallery, everyone's got something to say—most of it reactive. But it's not just politics, strong reactions and judgments abound on a myriad of issues—scandals, "stand your ground," militants and terrorism, religion, morality, and so on. Reaction and overreaction isn't limited to the public arena, it's been going on since humanity existed.
Remember the first murder on earth? Cain kills Abel because God accepts Abel's sacrifice over Cain's—that in itself is revealing. Why would Cain kill Abel over what God chooses as more acceptable? Seems like the anger should have been aimed at God, not Abel. In a way, it was. And so it is with our own reactions and judgments.
It's not that people aren't problematic—we are. That's exactly the issue. We have our own expectations of how things should be—how people should be. The problem with judging one another is our limited vision and perspective. As the Lord Jesus pointed out, our vision is obstructed by our own stuff.
“Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.” He also told them a parable: “Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit? A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye. (Luke 6:37-42)
With all the apps for smart phones, I'm surprised there's not one called "iJudge" (maybe there is and I'm unaware of it). It would likely be downloaded a lot, especially if it were free. But judging others isn't a freebie—it costs us (the iJudge) and those we judge.
What irritates you about people and things in general? Perhaps, you and I don't need to look any further than the mirror. The best way to do this is not introspection—focusing on one's self, but simple surrender of our self to the Lord (our selfish nature)—through prayer, reflection on the truth in God's written word, worship (individually and with others), and genuine friends—people who will tell us the truth in love.
The world is in desperate need of such a focus. Come to think of it, we all are.