Learning Not to Be So Quick to Judge By Janet Jackson

by | Mar 28, 2024 | The Love Offering Guest Blog Series

“I am a Catholic — baptized, raised, and confirmed. The fundamental tenets of my faith compel me to defend a woman’s right to access abortion. I am proudly part of the faithful large majority of US Catholics who support legal protections for abortion access.” (a progressive political leader)


“The Catholic Church declares abortion a grave moral evil, a mortal sin, rejecting Christ in the baby killed. You can’t be a Catholic in good standing & support abortion. By supporting abortion, you are rejecting Catholicism & Christ. I encourage — & pray — you will go to confession.” (conservative political commentator)


These viewpoints were from a recent article that popped up on my phone. The latter quote was a response to the first. I believe it shows the two extremes of politics: 


  1. Claiming to show love, honor, and respect for the good of society, but the real reason is approval from others or selfish gain. 


  1. Claiming to be a righteous person while shaking a judgmental finger at others.


Solomon, the author of Proverbs, probably could relate to these conflicting personality types. In Proverbs 21, he seems to go back and forth, writing about those two. I wonder if he had encounters with those who were sweetly loving, but to fit in, “wandered away from good sense.” (vs.16) Maybe he even contended with those who struggled with wanting to do the right thing, but that pursuit led to “arrogant pride.” (vs. 24)  


If I am more like #1 above, the Message version of Proverbs 21:27 heeds the warning, “Religious performance by the wicked stinks; it’s even worse when they use it to get ahead.” If I lean towards the #2 end, Proverbs 21:3 acknowledges, “Clean living before God and justice with our neighbors mean far more to God than religious performance.” Notice Solomon refers to “religious performance” in both verses.


I am reminded of a Tim Keller tweet: “When I am bitter and unforgiving, what I am really saying in my heart is, ‘I am better than you as I would never do what you just did.’” My response to someone with whom I disagree might be something like the second extreme above. Keller’s comment indicates that my religious performance of finger-pointing reveals that I need to refrain from being Judgmental Janet.


Instead, I want to remember Proverbs 21:8, “The way of the guilty is crooked, but the conduct of the pure is upright.” (ESV) Couldn’t both people quoted above be guilty of being crooked?  I want to be pure before my Creator and do what is upright. Therefore, I need to pray, read, and trust the Holy Spirit to guide me in responding to challenging situations in a way that is pure and pleasing to Him. One thing that matters the most is obedience to Jesus Christ.


Maybe wise Solomon, who struggled with doing the right thing, understood the importance of examining our heart in situations as he wrote in verse 3, “Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the heart.” (ESV)


Lord, weigh my heart so I can honestly strive to be pure in Your eyes.



About the Author:

Janet L. Jackson is retired from 36 years of teaching. She is the author of Jesus Didn’t Fit In: Raising Nontraditional Children. She loves sharing her heart and experiences as a mom and educator with those who struggle with the myth of being a super parent. She enjoys reading, writing, Bible study, and flower gardening. She and her husband of 46 years, Bill, now reside in Florida. They are blessed with two grown children and a teen granddaughter.


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I’m Rachael Adams

I’m an author, speaker, and host of The Love Offering Podcast. My mission is to help women find significance and purpose throught Christ.

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