One thing I am really good at is looking at other people's lives and seeing what they are doing wrong and how they could be doing better. I can do the same in my life, in fact I do, but the problem is: life. It's so complicated and there are so many factors, limitations, and excuses. It's so easy when you are not actually wearing the shoes to think you'd know just how to walk in them. Somewhere along the way I think the Church misunderstood its calling. Somewhere along the way we decided it was our place to pass judgment. Not just looking at the world and saying this is right or wrong, but looking at lives and deciding whether they are deserving of God's love or not. I can't tell you how many conversations I've had with people who don't feel comfortable going to Church because they are afraid they will be judged for their life choices. Why? Because they are judged! Somehow the Church has changed from a place welcoming of sinners to a place only for those who sin acceptably. Suddenly God's love isn't a gift given to the undeserving, but a prize attained only by those who can fake being good enough. We aren't hating the sin and loving the sinner, we are hiding the sin and judging those who don't. And THAT, is not right.
In a way, I was raised to be a judge. Look at the world and then compartmentalize everything into two boxes labeled "right" and "wrong" which are also known as "good" and "bad." This is how I have navigated myself through the world, deciding what I should or shouldn't do, who I should associate with, and how I should view them. In doing this I have heaped a whole lot of pain on others and reaped a whole lot for myself as well. Because the one I judge harshest is, of course, me. As I get older the world seems to get so much more complex. Suddenly things don't fit into my black and white boxes and all these gray ones appear and start filling up. Suddenly the judgements I've been using as glasses, robes, and shoes, don't fit right anymore. Suddenly I realize I've just been playing dress up. My gavel nothing more than a plank in my own eye. When I thought I was waving my fist in righteousness, I was actually just slapping the faces of those around me. Because I am not the judge, and I was never called to be one.