Judge Not

The tendency and disposition of mortal man to judge and criticise others is one of the worst and most active evils of the times. To many it seems to be an irresistible evil as well, and there are few of the evil tendencies of mortal mind that bring into human existence more of discord, injustice, and bitterness of feeling. We are so prone to misconstrue the acts and motives of others, and deny to them the sincerity we claim for ourselves. It is this disposition, more than any other, perhaps, that divides mankind into differing beliefs, makes many religious denominations where there should be but one church, worshiping one God, and prevents that mutual understanding, and trust in the good intentions and purposes of others, that would remove discord and contention, and bring about harmony and peaceful relations between the churches and those who differ in their religious beliefs. The same is equally true of the private relations of life. Friends are estranged and families disrupted by this tendency to judge and question and misconstrue the acts and motives of others. The great, and seemingly growing, evil of divorce is fostered and perpetuated by it, and husbands and wives who do not resort to the divorce courts, are made miserable and discontented with their lot by this same evil tendency on the part of one or both of them. And are we Christian Scientists altogether free from it, in our personal and church relations?

Surely no more imperative or important duty rests upon Christian Scientists to-day, than that of striving to live up to the injuction, "Judge not." Charity of thought towards others is the panacea for many of the evils and ills of this life. We cannot all see alike, but we may all be sincere, and may differ, honestly, and with respect for the differing views and beliefs of others. And if our own lives attest our sincerity, and our works bring forth "good fruit," this demonstration, not only of our sincerity, but of the truth of what we believe will convince and draw others to us, when discussion and the questioning of beliefs not only fail to convince, but rather confirm many in their disbelief in our views. Above all things, the utmost harmony and good feeling should prevail between those whose duty it is to demonstrate, to prove the truth of our religious teaching. This is but another way of saying that we should daily strive and pray for that Mind which is in Christ, and which must exclude all unjust or unkindly criticism of the opiniond, beliefs, or acts of others. The world is generally unjust. We should strive daily to make it less so. Evil should be uncovered and stamped out, in whatever guise it may appear; but one of the greatest of evils is to assume that evil exists in others when their intentions are as sincere and honorable as our own, for no better reason than that they do not see things as we see them. What a revolution would result if men would only lay aside forever this baleful tendency and disposition to look upon the thoughts and acts of others with distrust, suspicion, and envy. No greater reform in human thought could be brought about, none that would do more to make mankind happy, remove discord and contention, and restore harmony in all the relations of life; none that would do more to make men honest and sincere, and create that trust and confidence one in another that we so much need.

There is no other religion that teaches this reform so earnestly and convincingly as does Christian Science. If we live it, the reform will come, and come through the beneficent teaching and practice of this truth. It is being practised now, as never before since the time of the Master, and may it grow and spread until this evil. mortal-mind tendency to judge, misjudge, and criticise without reason, is uprooted and finally destroyed. This should be our daily prayer and endeavor.

Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.

The Christian Scientist in Business
April 1, 1905

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.