Judge Not

In his letter to the Romans, Paul made a sweeping statement on the subject of judgment, as follows: "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." How often have we found it true that when we have hastily criticized, judged, or perhaps even condemned another, we have later found ourselves thinking, saying, or doing the very thing to which we have objected in another. There is, of course, a metaphysical reason for this which Paul may have discerned, and which has been made very clear by Mrs. Eddy in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" and her other writings. This reason is that the one who criticizes another or judges him does so because he himself is, for the time being, at least, entertaining as reality that which he criticizes. If he were able more fully to see the error as error, and to separate it in his thinking from the individual—see it as being no part of the truth about his brother, whom he has presumed to judge—he would be much less likely to criticize unfairly or to condemn.

Constructive criticism may be of great value to the earnest worker who has not yet learned sufficient wisdom always to avoid making mistakes. Therefore, the sincere person who is striving to improve his methods may be greatly helped at times by having a friend point out to him in a kindly way wherein he is erring, or show him why he is failing to progress as rapidly as he should. This sort of criticism helps one not only to see and correct his mistakes, but to avoid making similar mistakes in the future.

It is the unkind criticism, sometimes based upon false report, idle rumor, or gossip, which is likely to do more harm than good. On page 9 of Science and Health, Mrs. Eddy has written: "During many years the author has been most grateful for merited rebuke. The wrong lies in unmerited censure,—in the falsehood which does no one any good." Doubtless many sincere students of Christian Science, whose desire is ever to serve mankind, have, like their Leader, been grateful for "merited rebuke," but have also, on the other hand, sometimes felt the sting of "unmerited censure."

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

The Lectures
August 22, 1936

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.