One of the timeless teachings of Christ that we still have not been able to master is how not to judge. Mormon Channel posted a podcast Tuesday, interviewing LDS blogger Riley Lewis about how to avoid judging others.
Speaking about some reasons we may judge others in the first place, Lewis said:
“We feel an actual desire to help the person we are correcting. For example, if I interpret a gospel principle or a commandment in a certain way and that brings me happiness, when someone chooses a different path, it’s easy to feel like I’m helping that person by showing them a better way.”
Not only do we think we are helping others find happiness, we may also try to hide what we feel are bad examples from the youth of the Church.
“I also think particularly where social media is concerned, there’s a genuine desire to protect the impressionable, especially the young . . . we often try to tear down those we think are bad examples so that others aren’t negatively influenced by them,” Lewis said. “The difficulty arises when we interpret gospel principles in a certain way and assume that our interpretation is the only one that’s valid.”
There is always hope for us, however. Lewis explained there are many examples of imperfect people and leaders from the past the Lord didn’t give up on.
“God can use imperfect people to accomplish wonderful things,” Lewis said.
Lewis implores us to understand empathy and realize others may have different circumstances than us.
“Learn to practice empathy. Just realize that the person we may want to judge is in a completely different circumstance than us. We don’t know what background, life conditions, or even inspiration others might be following, when they make different choices than we do.”