Is judging a necessity in life? Is there a difference between judging and discerning?

When we drive a vehicle, is ok to judge all the other drivers?

Is it ok to decide whether another person is doing the right thing or wearing the right clothes or living the right life?

Who makes us the ones who get to decide?

Do we believe that we should sit beside God, listen to his messages, then let the rest of the world know what he has said?

After once again watching the movie, “The Shack”, I was astounded by the section where the main character visits the Judge. There are so many times in life when we decide who’s to blame, who’s at fault, who’s the “bad guy”.

We do so without being able to see what is going on below the surface of the person we are judging, without knowing the background of the other person, without having our hearts open in compassion. I wonder what our judging is designed to do for us. Do we believe that we must prove the other wrong so that we don’t get blamed, or so that we can stay safe from rejection, abandonment, ridicule, etc?


It’s important to look below the surface to find the part of us that wants to do that judging.

What does that part believe about judging? I imagine it has its origin in fear, fear that, if we don’t take action, we will be punished, ridiculed, denied love, abandoned. Or perhaps we believe we are so far above the other person, so much better than, so superior to the other and, if we can just share what we know, then we can keep away hurt. Where does this belief originate?


I believe we are born with the belief and that, as the Pathwork teachings suggest, we are here to work on that place in us.

That same place decided to avoid the hurt in any way we could.

To avoid, we must make sure that we are never judged again.

Feel familiar? We want to avoid being hurt again, thinking that judging others is the avenue towards that safety.

How does it work? What if we are a judge of others, as this part of the movie suggests?


Does that really keep us safe from hurt?


Or does it set us up for more hurt?


It seems like we must consider the possibility that judging will create more hurting for us. Why? Do others want to surround themselves with people who judge? Or do they disengage because it seems that the judge will be hurtfully judging? In addition to the hurt we bring ourselves by judging, we are not feeling compassionate or loving which further adds to our own hurt.

This awareness is important to take in, not only from the place of understanding, but feeling what we are doing to others, how our protective action is actually hurtful to both us and the other person.

I find myself feeling sad about this fact. I must look within to find compassion for others even though it feels risky to open myself and, yes, even though I might be hurt. On the other hand, I might not be hurt. I might be able to connect with them.

Connection is what I want–connection to myself, connection with others, and connection to God.

I’m going to practice noticing my judging and then risking opening even though it will probably be imperfect.