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"Giving Up Judging" by Rev. Christine Emmerling 2/21/21 text

“Giving Up Judging”

Rev. Christine 2/21/2021

Today’s talk is based in the spiritual practice of Lent. Lent is about giving up something that hinders our spiritual unfoldment. Traditionally people choose to give up an undesirable habit. This year Lent began last Wednesday, February 17, known as Ash Wednesday, and goes through Saturday April 3rd; the day before Easter. Then Easter is the day of celebration in the resurrection of Jesus the Christ. It is also our resurrection in having released an undesirable trait or habit.

In the theme of Lent, my talk today is titled “Giving up Judging.” When we say giving up, the first thing people do is cringe at the thought. It sounds much like sacrifice, and people think we have to struggle, and do without. Instead think of it as trading upward.

Years ago, I remember boys would have their trading cards and marbles, and one deemed more valuable than another. So they would trade maybe two or three for the one more desirable or valuable to them. Another way of looking at giving up is that we’re giving this condition upward to be lifted from us – we’re lifting it to God to take care and transform for our higher good to unfold. We can even ask God, the angels, or our Christ Self to help lift this from us.

Christ Jesus said in Luke 6:37, “Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned.”

John: 7:24, “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.”

Romans 2:1, “Therefore you have no excuse, everyone of you who passes judgment, for in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things.”

Then we have in Luke 6:42, “How can you say, 'Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,' while you yourself fail to see the beam in your own eye? You hypocrite! First take the beam out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.”

Each of these verses is telling us not to judge another. And, why? Because what we are judging we are claiming for our self. We can only see what is already part of our own consciousness. We are seeing through our own filter; from our experiences and beliefs about life. We may think we know, but in truth we are seeing partially; seeing through a glass darkly, or pulling the shades down, and seeing life from that perspective.

Another way to look at judging others, is that it usually comes from having a level of fear within your own self. Its about projecting our fears onto someone else or thing, and then we point our finger as in blaming. But, remember there are three other fingers pointing back to our own self.

Then we have complaining, its another habit that is another aspect of judging. Always wanting something we don’t have, or believe we don’t have. Or, being a victim to circumstance. How we love to tell our stories. Who is it serving? Certainly no one. It goes along with gossiping. These are very low frequency conversations; meaning they really only bring us down.

Temporarily one may feel empowered when sharing or listening, but afterwards there is an icky feeling left - a residue. Like being slimed. Our beautiful aura, our energy field has turned dingy. In truth it has weakened our energy. Judging, complaining, gossiping all wasting energy, and lowers our overall level of frequency from harmonious to chaotic.

You can do a test on yourself; its helpful to have someone else do it with you. To put your arm up and straight out to your side or in front of you. Then think or speak something happy and good, and have a person push firmly downward on your arm, but not forcefully, and see how strong it is. Then repeat, but this time with something unhappy or fearful, and see how strong your arm is. Then repeat with something happy and good, and push firmly down again to measure the difference in strength.

Divine Science has long been teaching about the nature and power of our thoughts. In fact, lessons 2 and 3 in Divine Science and Healing are focused on Thought and then the Effects of Thought. Malinda Cramer says, “We can find no fault with or make no complaint about another, One is All. Fault-finding and complaining are with and about one’s self... Our beliefs should all be in perfect accord with our highest idea of Good to enjoy perfectly harmonious feeling.

“Thousands have been blessed with health, happiness, and success through the study of our Lessons in Science and Healing, by applying them, and changing their habits of thought and speech, making them represent the truth of themselves.

“If, therefore, we think from pure Being, according to its nature, we determine our course in life along lines of health, happiness, and success. The Infinite Power is with us and not against us. Would we externalize love, our thoughts must be filled with love. Would we externalize health and prosperity, we must perceive and hold them in memory. Would we enjoy harmonious conditions, we must believe in harmony.

“Not until our decisions about each other and about ourselves are those of perfections are we working in concert with and doing the will of perfection. Not until we think the thoughts of the All-Good, that all is Good, is there a conscious oneness with it. Not until Truth is practiced will conflict and confusion of belief cease. To the pure in thought all things are pure and to goodness all things are good.” (End)

I’m reminded of the ancient Japanese proverb, of the 3 monkeys “See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.” There is a lot of truth in this saying. The quality of our life is about being selective to what we choose to see, hear, and speak about. It can be that TV show or movie, posting on Facebook or Instagram, newspaper or book, or choice in music and friends. Its so easy when we’re with some friends to fall into the habit of talking about other people; and rarely is it good. Then to be selective of the words we speak - make them count.

As Jesus the Christ said in, Matthew 15:11, “It is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.” In other words, our thoughts repeated become words spoken, and spoken words repeated become actions, and actions repeated become habits. The question becomes, are these the actions and habits we want to repeat? Are they contributing to the quality of our life?

This Lenten season, I invite you to commit to the following practice starting with today Feb. 21: for the first week to just watch your thoughts - pay attention to what you are thinking about - then record these in a journal; week 2, next Sunday, Feb. 28, to just watch your speech - what you are talking about - and record these. This is all about being consciously aware.

Then from week 3 on, March 7 through April 3, refrain from judging, gossiping and complaining. Instead find something good to say. If you fall off your practice, make note of it, and pick yourself up and start again. Remember to use affirmations to strengthen your commitment. And, you can always ask for spiritual help to lift this up from you.

You may find that there is little to say when you’re not judging, gossiping or complaining. This is when we find new things to talk about, change our vocabulary, and practice affirmations. At the end of the practice you will find yourself feeling a whole lot better about your life.

I’ll close with the following poem from 1895 by Mary T. Lattrap, titled “Judge Softly” also known as “Walk a Mile in His Moccasins”

“Pray, don’t find fault with the man that limps, or stumbles along the road.

Unless you have worn the moccasins he wears, or stumbled beneath the same load.

There may be tears in his soles that hurt, though hidden away from view.

The burden he bears placed on your back, may cause you to stumble and fall, too.

Don’t sneer at the man who is down today, unless you have felt the same blow that caused his fall or felt the shame that only the fallen know.

You may be strong, but still the blows that were his, unknown to you in the same way, may cause you to stagger and fall, too.

Don’t be too harsh with the man that sins. Or pelt him with words, or stone, or disdain. Unless you are sure you have no sins of your own, and it’s only wisdom and love that your heart contains.

For you know if the tempter’s voice should whisper as soft to you, as it did to him when he went astray, it might cause you to falter, too.

Just walk a mile in his moccasins before you abuse, criticize and accuse.

If just for one hour, you could find a way to see through his eyes, instead of your own muse.

I believe you’d be surprised to see that you’ve been blind and narrow-minded, even unkind. There are people on reservations and in the ghettos who have so little hope, and too much worry on their minds.

Brother, there but for the grace of God go you and I. Just for a moment, slip into his mind and traditions, and see the world through his spirit and eyes before you cast a stone or falsely judge his conditions.

Remember to walk a mile in his moccasins, and remember the lessons of humanity taught to you by your elders. We will be known forever by the tracks we leave in other people’s lives, our kindnesses and generosity.

Take the time to walk a mile in his moccasins.”

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