WHAT ARE THE CHARACTERISTICS OF GOD’S TEACHERS?
page 12, paragraph 1
1 God’s teachers do not judge. 2To judge is to be dishonest, for to judge is to assume a position you do not have. 3Judgment without self-deception is impossible. 4Judgment implies that you have been deceived in your brothers. 5How, then, could you not have been deceived in yourself? 6Judgment implies a lack of trust, and trust remains the bedrock of the teacher of God’s whole thought system. 7Let this be lost, and all his learning goes. 8Without judgment are all things equally acceptable, for who could judge otherwise? 9Without judgment are all men brothers, for who is there who stands apart? 10Judgment destroys honesty and shatters trust. 11No teacher of God can judge and hope to learn.
I had not thought of judgment as dishonest until I read this paragraph. If I judge someone or something, I am being dishonest because I am deceiving myself. I am saying that I am in a position to judge, but I know this is not true. I accept that I cannot know everything there is to know that would allow me to judge.
If I judge my brothers, it is because I do not trust them. When I allow my sight to stop at the body and the personality of my brothers, I see only what the ego mind has made up. Looking only at that, it seems reasonable to judge them, even necessary. But if I allow vision to enlighten me to their reality, I know who they are and I have reason to trust. When I remember that trust is the foundation of the teacher of God’s thought system I feel compelled to rest on that trust, and the desire to judge fades away.
I was thinking about this very thing recently. I have a relative that I have judged. It didn’t hit my radar as judgment because I cloaked it in spiritual ideas and compassionate sounding words. Being with this person during the holidays was tense until I noticed what I was doing and stopped. I began to believe in him and to trust him. Then everything felt sweet and there was peace and laughter. It felt like a heavy cloud had blown away and the sun shined brightly on our family.
Vigilant for Judgment
It is so important that we not judge that Jesus said that no teacher of God can judge and hope to learn. All other considerations put aside, this reason alone compels me to be vigilant for judgment in my mind. I watch for judgment of myself, especially. This is where I tend to be harshest, and judgment of self is as dishonest and as distressing as any other form of judgment. I cannot, in honesty, judge myself because I did not create myself. To judge myself is tantamount to judging God. May I be tolerant of all living things, myself included.