Judge? No thanks, I’d rather bless.
As a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) guardian ad litem for abused and neglected children, teens, and sometimes young adults, I have usually found it very easy to love them for their God-given innocence, resilience, and ability to rebound from bad human conditions. They have taught me much, especially about forgiveness.
With regard to the offending parent or parents, however, it has taken me years to realize that the various corrective and court-ordered therapies available for addictions, anger management, parenting, etc., can help, but they serve only as temporary fixes. While I respect what these approaches are meant to do, it’s my view that many are based on the belief in both evil and good existing and holding sway in the universe. Also, there is the popular, yet false, idea that man can be separated from his source, God.
In my study of Christian Science, I’m continually learning that there is only one reality, God’s reality. And God’s idea, man, is not perfectible; he is perfect. Jesus said, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). A statement that expands on this concept is found in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy: “God is the creator of man, and, the divine Principle of man remaining perfect, the divine idea or reflection, man, remains perfect” (p. 470).
“Judge/criticize not” is slowly becoming my motto, and then, when I am alert, judgment is quickly replaced by “no thanks, I’d rather bless.”
I have often observed that a factor in cases of depressions, addictions, violence in the home, etc., is a pervasive feeling of not being loved, and thus being unable to express love to others. So the big need is to fill that “gap,” and our Father-Mother God is doing this with immense tenderness and compassion. God’s promise is unconditional love, forgiveness, freedom, peace, and joy.
The need is to constantly identify others and ourselves correctly.
“Love inspires, illumines, designates, and leads the way” (Science and Health, p. 454). This not only applies to us, but also everyone else, whether we presently recognize it or not; are in prison or free (and there are both literal and mental prisons!); enjoy our jobs or just put up with them; feel happy or sad; are “in a good spot” or still searching for meaning in our lives.
The fact that divine Love arms us with strength and makes our way perfect doesn’t mean, however, that we should rest on our laurels. The need is to constantly identify others and ourselves correctly, as God’s children, with a birthright that includes the capacity to express all the divine qualities. And in his Sermon on the Mount (see Matthew 5—7), Jesus taught us how to love our neighbors and be vigilant about doing so.
On days when I attend court hearings or visit incarcerated parents, I spend extra time identifying myself with divine Love, God—identifying myself spiritually—and then I can extend love and compassion to all others I come in contact with. We can all do this and be led to take any corrective actions needed to bring healing to whatever the human situation is.
Acknowledging a person’s innate spiritual perfection in spite of all appearances may result in a silent blessing or prayer, a smile, a poem shared, a book we are inspired to give, a warm hug, or simply listening and heeding God’s guidance. We are not called to pass judgment. We are called to love, to heal, and to bless.