Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Don't Judge Me

On two occasions I've seen someone on television say, "Don't judge me..." The first occasion, I was watching "My Name Is Earl" and the person who said it, Brett Butler, would perpetrate some aweful thing and immediately say mantra-like, "Don't judge me." Moments later, she'd do something equally bad and repeat her mantra. The second occasion occured when my daughter was watching a teen show, Gilmore Girls, and the young mom said to her teen daughter, "Don't judge me..." and then supplied some reason I forget.

In the first case, Brett Butler plays someone who screws up time and again, then uses the "don't judge me" line as a vaccination against self-improvement.

In the second case, the Gilmore mom is merely inarticulate. She mispoke. She intended to say "don't condemn me." And she gave reasons to justify herself. Judging is different from condemning. Best to remember that.

Self-justification is related to judging. When Brett Butler on My Name Is Earl said "Don't judge me" she had already judged herself and condemned herself.

We all know what Jesus said about judging: The way you judge others is the way you should expect to be judged. I want to be judged generously and mercifully. I hope I judge others that way. Tell me whether this is so or not.

I know the only way I'll improve is if I get feedback, positive or negative. Go ahead and judge me.

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