saturday spirit

Quite a few people wear the bracelets with the initials “WWJD.” It reminds them to think “What would Jesus do?” as they ponder what action they should or should not take.

For the past year or so, I have been focusing on the initials “DNJ” — “Do not judge.” It is something that I have to continuously remind myself about as I navigate my day.

As part of a church program, I have been spending time working with and for a variety of types of people. Before I started this, I considered myself a relatively fair person in taking each person as an individual worthy of respect.

However, I came to realize that I was guilty of judging people — subtly and not so subtly — on the basis of their appearance, their wardrobe and even whether or not they “deserved” help. Only God knows what each person is truly like, but it is my responsibility not to judge people by what I “think” they are.

It is also my duty as a person of faith to treat every person with dignity. I do not know what physical, emotional or mental pain they are experiencing. I do not know what circumstances made them the person they are.

In addition to keeping “Do not judge” always in mind, it helps to consider the insight of St. Francis de Sales. “Everyone has enough to do in judging himself without taking it upon himself to judge his neighbor.”

God, the only One whose judgment really matters, will eventually judge me on how well I follow Francis’ advice.

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God is our Judge,

but He is also our Father.

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