“To love a man enough to help him, we have to forfeit the warm, self-righteous glow that comes from judging.”   – Ron Hall

During one of Bankei’s classes, a pupil was caught stealing. All the disciples demanded he be expelled, but Bankei did nothing. The following week, the pupil stole again. The others, irritated, demanded that the thief be punished.

“How wise you all are,” said Bankei. “You know what is right and wrong, and you can study anywhere you like. But this poor brother – who does not know what is right or wrong – has only me to teach him. And I shall go on doing that.”

A flood of tears purified the thief’s face; the desire to steal had disappeared.


Over the years I have been quick to judge those around me, forgetting at the time, where they come from, or understood what their beliefs about right or wrong might be.  When I take the time to know these people, and learn to be patient with their differences, I am often surprised how much they teach me about life.

36 thoughts on “Judgement

  1. That “self righteous glow that comes from judging” is such a great red flag to let us know there is healing to be done within, since the world is our mirror. Thank you Karen.

  2. I wonder if judging on some level comes from an inner weakness of self. If we are to judge, we place ourselves above our colleagues, our friends, our families and most often, without intent, rebuke those with differing opinions. Rather than judge, would we not be better off to share knowledge, ideas, and feelings; to enlighten each other with boundless ways of viewing life expanding our individual capabilities to understand rather than judge each other?

    Thank you for providing an article for introspection.

    1. Yes I agree, judging is often based on self-esteem and self-belief issues Jonathan. Sometimes we need to share our knowledge with others and sometimes, we just need to listen. No one likes to be judged. Thankyou.

    1. I can imagine the Camino de Santiago would help release many things along the way. We are all a work in progress. Thankyou for your comment. Noted: (American and English versions of Judgements vs Judgments!) Color vs Colour Honor vs Honour. Counseling vs Counselling. We really should just have one version don’t you think? ha. 🙂

  3. A great story and reminder! I don’t experience the “self-righteous glow” any more if I judge someone, quite on the contrary. So it has indeed become easier with age to be more tolerant and more patient. Something good in getting older 🙂

  4. Very true, Karen.
    Judgment must be left to one who knows what is in the heart of another. And who of us can say that they do. Outward actions alone cannot reveal that to us.

    Two men steal a loaf of bread from a baker. It is discovered that the first stole the bread because his child was hungry and he had no means by which to pay for it. And that the second man had the means but so disliked the baker that he stole the bread out of spite. What was in each heart was revealed; one desperate, the other cruel. So who must make restitution? Both do.
    But the heavier blow of discipline falls upon the second man. Here is where mercy is found. Motive determines the extent of mercy. But for justice to be done the injured party must be considered as well.

    Each of us must remember that in our dealings with our loved ones or unknown neighbors who may do an injustice to us; “the measure of mercy that we give to another will be measured to us.” And by One who knows our hearts like no other can.

  5. Insightful post. It is human nature to judge quickly, and I like to catch myself doing this…and then watch whatever the situation play out (e.g., I lose something or think someone has made a mistake), and I think at least 50% of the time I wrong – or rather I understand the situation better realizing that no one was wrong just totally different beliefs.

    1. Well you are not alone in that 50% ha! We seem to want to label situations and people, but we forget there is constant change in life, and so we need to learn to adapt and allow instead.

    1. It is a difficult lesson I agree Kath. Love and acceptance always starts within us. Hope you are all well. Finally meet up with the publisher tomm after another edit of my book. It’s getting closer. 🙂

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