I believe the term “judging” is misused in our times. The term is often associated directly with a sentence (condemnation), but a lot of times what is considered “judging” or “judgmental” is simply awareness.
There is nothing wrong with being aware that someone’s actions or character makes him/her bad company for us. But it is important to leave it at that. If we cross the line and start wishing that person would be taught a lesson, then that’s definitely judging – and really none of us is in a good position to judge (and condemn) anyone. There is one passage from the Bible that was probably the hardest for me to face in my own life:
Matthew 7:1-2 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
Although I knew I was mostly just aware of how people’s behavior hurt me as well as others, it took me years to really face the fact I often crossed the line and expected those people to be taught a lesson. That’s often our response to hurt and frustration. And it’s also the very reason why hurt and frustration never go away.
Forgiving and genuinely loving others in a spiritual, fraternal way, as Jesus teaches us, is what’s healed me from that horrible and neverending cycle of judging others. I also owe it to my conversion, because knowing that God loves me in a way I will never be loved by anyone else creates the strength in me to share that wonderful love with others – by loving and forgiving them. Always.
Once again, loving and liking are very different states of consciousness though, so if you feel that you can’t love everyone, I’d recommend checking out my article on the difference between the two right here: We can love everyone, but liking is a different story.