Bible

Only God Can Judge Me

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“Only God can judge me!” declares the photo caption.

“Wow, way to judge!” proclaims the comment stream.

“You are just being way too judgmental and critical. Nobody’s perfect! You’re such a hypocrite. Stop judging, get off your butt, and get a life!”

Today, let’s talk about judgment. Comments like those above, though hypocritical in and of themselves, seem to be calling for a judgment-free world. And though the commenters make a judgment in order to call someone judgmental, they seem not to see it and continue on their aggressive campaign towards a passive Utopia in which judgment is no more.

But come on, does he really mean that? Does this commenter really want a judgement-free society?!

After all, where would this society be without some good use of judgment? What if I didn’t judge how fast a car is going into the intersection, and instead I just went for it – hoping that my lack of judgment would be so unoffending to the other driver that it just didn’t hit me?

What if we didn’t judge people by their knowledge of road laws and driving procedures, and we just gave anyone who wanted it a driver’s license?

What if I didn’t judge whether a young child was old enough to walk by himself home from school through a neighborhood that may or may not (I can’t judge) be unsafe? Would my open-mindedness be enough to protect him from getting robbed, kidnapped, or lost?

Would you like a doctor who didn’t judge your suitability for a drug or procedure?

Would you like a friend who didn’t judge whether you were sober enough to drive home?

Would you like a school that didn’t judge whether you grasped the lessons, and just passed you forward no matter what?

The point is this: yes, only God can judge your soul. But I am more than capable of – and should be encouraged to – judge your actions, shirt, driving ability, creditworthiness, sobriety, and whatever else you expose to the world. Would you really prefer a society where no one engages in any critical thinking? Is that better for you? How would you even know – you can’t judge!

To judge means “to form an opinion or conclusion about.” It isn’t always right, and it can change when more evidence presents itself. Having a judgmental society can be a very good thing. It means we’re talking. It means we’re connected. It means that we have seen or learned something, synthesized it, analyzed it, and produced an opinion or conclusion about it. It means that we have brains, and we’re using them. Plus, if we didn’t judge, then compliments wouldn’t mean anything; how meaningful it is to have a blind person comment on the unique color of your hair?

Lack of judgment can lead to car accidents, drug overdoses, bankruptcy, middle-school dropouts, arrests, and all kinds of other things that we don’t bring up at family reunions. It’s not a judgement-free world, thankfully. Judgments come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. They can be nice or they can be rude, but the mere fact that you are judging someone or something is not a bad thing. How you do it is another story: respect, humility, and compassion are just as important.

As for your soul – after this world – that is the only thing the Facebook stalkers can’t touch. God can and already has judged your soul. It’s actually really simple: you are a loser; a sinner; a broken, spoiled child who doesn’t even know what you threw away. And you’ve been sentenced to death because of it.

But that’s not the end: God is also merciful and loving. He sent his Son, who was also God, and He died in your place so that you can be made new. You can be fresh, clean, and holy – if only you accept this free gift of Salvation. Just say the word.

And that’s why we can judge each other’s actions, to help each other see right from wrong and pick each other up when we’ve wandered far from home. But we also have to treat each other with kindness and respect, because we have value and dignity as God’s children. And we’ll all be judged by God in the end. So don’t forget that.

-debarbibee

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10 Lies TV Tells Us

6b1683288c8111e19e4a12313813ffc0_7There are certain things about television reality that I can accept, like that nothing ever happens unless it’s moving the story forward (no one goes to the bathroom, has a conversation, or eats unless it’s a scene), or that sidekicks never have ANYTHING going on in their own lives, and are just available for coffee. Also, when you imagine your memories, it’s always from a third-person perspective.

However, there are so many things about television I just refuse to accept as reality. And I cannot understand why the most educated, informed, technologically advanced, wealthiest, and most cultured generation in the HISTORY OF THE WORLD cannot make a television show that does not perpetrate these down-right falsities. I just want a great new show that I can believe, okay people? Just make that show. And put it on Netflix. Right away.

Now, to be fair, not all shows advance all of these distortions of reality. But many do, and some worse than others. The important thing, I think, is to be aware of them. The Bible is very clear that lies are from The Evil One, but that God always tells the “Capital-T” Truth. So take a gander at this list I’ve compiled and let me know if I missed any big ones. And please do not accept these lies that entertainment tells us.

1. Marriage

Marriage is a death sentence in television. Marriage is something that you stumble into in a season finale because the actor decided to come back next year. Gone are the Huxtables of yesteryear. Now it’s all about lazy husbands, nagging wives, screaming children, and trying to avoid the inevitable affair (either physical or emotional). Women have to trick men into marrying them, sometimes by pretending to be pregnant. And men totally lose their manhood when they put a ring on it.

Married people on TV are more afraid of “losing themselves” than anything else in the world, and often it seems like the spouses are in a competition to be the most selfish they can possibly be before the other one loses it. And married people are always keeping secrets from each other! Big life-altering things or small “I bought this on an impulse” things – they never tell each other anything. Also married people never have sex and they complain about it all the time, because sex is as important as air or water – it’s essential to life.

2. High School

In what world does high school take place essentially outside, and it’s always sunny and a  breezy 67 degrees? Also, your locker is always next to your best friend,  everyone looks 25, and there’s no dress code? Answer: every movie and television show ever. High school was a huge disappointment when I realized all our hallways were enclosed structures and we had only 3 minutes between classes.

3. College

If college in real life is like it is on TV, then I don’t know why anyone doesn’t go! All they do is hang out with their friends, it’s gorgeous weather all the time, no one cares how much money it is to be there, and classes only happen as an excuse for people to leave a scene. Also it’s all about the Greeks. My college didn’t even have a Greek system. Also it was a dry campus. I basically didn’t go to college.

4. Money

How do these people afford to eat out so much? I mean, seriously!? And in the Great Recession, I’m sure I’m not the only one who got tired of watching yet another great meal out at a restaurant. Why do you have such a nice kitchen if you eat out for every meal?!! If I had those counters and that dishwasher, I would be all up in that space, making whatever for all the meals of all the days.

Also, surprise! We’re going on a flight right now for a very important purpose that could also be accomplished over the phone because I have so much cash available that I can just fly to Italy. And have zero consequences at my job or home. The dog is fed for the next two weeks. Basically, everyone on TV has an endless pile of money they can just access no problem.

5. Sex

I recently saw this article on Relevant Magazine about 3 Lies Entertainment Tells You About Sex, and they really got it right. But there are even more lies about sex that entertainment tells you, that I can’t even start. Just, every time there is anything said or done about sex, sexuality, porn, stripping, or anything else sex-related, just assume it’s false, cause it is.

6. Gender Roles

Women like shopping, champagne, getting their nails done, and handbags so expensive, they could be mortgaged. They only care about how much men like them, how much money they give them, and men won’t do anything unless she tricks him into doing it. Women are in charge of everything, but have to make men feel like they did something good.

Men are valued for their ability to bring home a paycheck. They like beer, sports, vehicles, noise, and guns. Men are basically animals. They can barely function unless it’s to impress a woman. But boy, do they feel good when they win at something. Women don’t get so distracted by that childish competitive stuff, unless it’s competing against other women: in that sport, we all want the secret gold medal.

7. Hair, makeup, and clothing

Bear with me on this one; I took film classes in college. People on television always dress according to their character, which is fine (I understand the importance of visual cues). What I cannot understand are down-right lies, like women waking up with perfect hair and makeup and the “totally inappropriate for the work-place but somehow they can wear that in the officeoutfits. Also, I hate how women’s clothing is often so tight that when they get pregnant and it has to be hidden on the show then it’s a huge ordeal from month 2 and she has to wear parkas and oversize accessories. (Except for Leslie Knope. She’s the bomb.)

Now in all fairness, there are some people in real life who do look that good, but most of us don’t. And none of hang out in jeans; as soon as I get home it’s all about the comfy pants. (Thank you Liz Lemon for showing me I’m not the only one.)

8. Music

When I went to India four years ago, it was my first time being in a foreign country. Before that my only exposure to foreign anything was either in movies or stories from friends. So, naturally, when I was riding in the back of a taxi to Panaji to go shopping, I half-expected there to be some light Indian-style dance jam in the background of my fun shopping/travel montage, a la Mary-Kate and Ashley. But that didn’t happen. Instead, I just heard conversations and honking horns. And that was actually better.

9. Babies

What is the deal with everyone being all about the pregnant lady on the show, but as soon as that baby comes out, it just disappears, and the mom and dad are available for everything they used to do just like they used to. Nothing’s changed and she’s back in her old clothes! And there are no food stains on anyone’s clothes. Oh, television, you crack me up.

10. Legal Practice All Jobs

Everyone on TV is paid plenty, no matter what his or her job. They also have tons of time to take naps, get home for dinner, or have long conversations with friends about personal matters. I know that no job is accurately portrayed on television because I’m going to be a lawyer (hopefully) in a year and I’ve been in law offices for years. I know that lawyers do not run to court every ten minutes, solve a case in a week, and the perp doesn’t confess every time! Lawyers on TV never read, do research, write, or have bad client meetings. They are always running from place to place and having productive  meetings. No wonder they’re so thin! Yeah, that’s not real life. Also no one’s office is that clean. Ever.

Did I miss any big ones? How much do these lies bug you? Which ones bother you the most?

-debarbibee