The book in question

Well, the book that quote came from was actually the Holy Bible… howbeit, from the slightly renovated version known as The Message (however large a disclaimer you feel that to be).

Here is the quote again:

Every time you criticize someone, you condemn yourself. It takes one to know one. Judgmental criticism of others is a well-known way of escaping detection in your own crimes and misdemeanors.

And here is the King James:

Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things. (Romans 2:1)

Please don’t freak out. You didn’t say anything disrespectful of the Bible, though I admit I enjoyed grinning over your source suggestions, and your corrections of the text. Perhaps that was not quite fair of me. Some of them were quite astute though.

Anyway, you are right on this – that a Bible passage has a context, and when it is pulled out of that context and embraced to the exclusion of all other Bible passages, it can be extremely misleading. This particular verse was a piece I badly needed to hear; it’s not the whole picture. There are balancing Bible passages on speaking out in defense of the oppressed, making judgements that are right and just and impartial, and the urgent appropriateness of the church judging its own people who sin.

So now what? Are you annoyed with me? Your comments, as always, were entirely delightful. Thank you for speaking up.

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7 years ago

I think criticism and condemnation are two very different things. The text here obviously implies condemning judgement. (The one judging feels superior and condemns the one judged as inferior and less worthy) I think the inability to receive criticism that has become popular in American culture, and Mennonite American culture, is a debilitating weight on our collective character development. Criticism should be the life blood of our culture. We should WANT to be shown our faults and failures so that we may recognize them and endeavour to live more like Jesus in every way possible. To me condemnation serves no purpose, it is “Judgement without mercy” I think there’s a Bible verse about that somewhere. ?True criticism however, offers mercy, “a solution or way to improve”. Just my two cents………

Beth Russo
7 years ago

It’s funny because I think “judging” is such a vague term. For instance, my daughter will tell me I’m judgmental, when really I’m not, I’m just stating my opinion on a situation. It’s a gray area the line between judging and just having an opinion, isn’t it? Like if I say, “I don’t think it’s a good idea for you to hang around a bowling alley at 2 a.m.” that’s just my opinion, but she’ll say that’s being judgmental of people who hang around bowling alleys at 2 a.m. That probably makes no sense, but it does in my head in a weird way.

7 years ago

How many times a week must I forgive my sister?? 😉 😉 🙂 😉

My thoughts last night in bed as I was pondering this issue were 1. I need a better definition of the terms we’re throwing around. 2. I need more context for this statement.

Thanks for the stirring the pot (the pot being my brain) even though I may smack you next time I see you for your trickery. 🙂

7 years ago

You certainly did stir a lot of thinking and talking in this quarter! I’m glad I wasn’t smart enough to venture a guess on the book quoted from ?

7 years ago

Your endeavor to draw out input from your silent readership is really going to take a beating! How many of us are going, “whew, I just remembered why I don’t stick out my neck on Shari’s blog!”?

Nah, I’m just fussing so I can get in line for a hydrangea ?

7 years ago

Just don’t read Mr. Peterson’s version of Proverbs 31–“She girdeth her loins with strength” becomes “First thing in the morning, she dresses for work”; “Strength and honour are her clothing” becomes “her clothes are well-made and elegant”; instead of giving breakfast “to her household, and a portion to her maidens” she just cooks breakfast for her family; she plants a garden instead of a vineyard, and so on. kind of disappointing?

7 years ago

My guess was “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” because I remembered it being in a list of books you had read. I haven’t read the book, but guessed it was the sort of thing that might be in it. 🙂 I did have to go back and reread my comment after it was revealed to me that I was talking about the Bible…! :-O Nice plot twist. 🙂

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