I’ll never forget the first time I read, “If you judge people, you have no time to love them” a quote by Mother Teresa. A former student of mine shared the quote on social media. I had an eye-opening revelation that day. It was as if someone had kicked me in the stomach; I could not breathe because I realized I was judging others and not loving them.
There’s No Time to Love Others When You Judge Them
I was raised in a home full of judgmentalness - that is a word, right? Negativity was the heartbeat of most conversations and teaching moments. Pointing out the bad in others while trying to keep our “holy” family in check with the church. Trying to keep an appearance that was made for others to see, spotless.
I was raised with this mentality. When you are brainwashed (yes, it is brainwashing) with this kind of thinking, it’s not easy to put it away. It’s hard. Those who are taught this, don’t even realize they are doing it because it is a way of life. I would never have thought I was being judgmental towards others.
When I was in my twenties, I was dating a young man who put me in my place about this awful mindset. But it did not change me.
I’ll never forget, I was at his house watching the show Cops while eating supper. During an episode, a couple had been attacked. I said something to the effect “they deserved it”. Words that quickly tumbled out of my mouth with no thought to them. A look of horror came over this man’s face. He could not believe what I said. The words he spoke to me that day still sting, “They are people just like you. Their lifestyle may differ from yours but they did not deserve to be attacked. What makes you think you can judge them?”
I could not believe he had the nerve to call me out about my attitude towards others. I mean, I cared for people. I tried explaining what I meant, but with every word, it made the situation worse.
That was the first time anyone had the strength to tell me the truth.
Over the years, my husband pointed out what I was doing, but it never clicked. He even went as far as telling me I was being just like a certain person. Again, it never clicked.
The day I read the quote, “If you judge people, you have no time to love them”, I determined I would stop and look beyond the face and look for what was important - a soul. Beyond the faces of the people we see, there is a soul. A soul that desperately needs the Lord. A soul that will spend eternity somewhere. A soul longing for love.
Can you imagine what it would be like if we all stopped judging others and spent that time loving them? Stopped tearing them down because they don’t fit inside our box?
The Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) are full of stories that show Jesus loving others. Jesus loved those who were not accepted by others. Yes, he told them when they were wrong, but he did not hurt them. He loved them.
In those same books, we find the words “love”, “love your enemies”, “love your neighbors”, “for God so loved”. They even tell the words “judge not” spoken by Jesus.
We're told to love, not judge
I still have a hard time not judging. It will be something I have to deal with the rest of my life. But every time I think about this quote, I think about the beautiful person this young man was. He wasn’t perfect. He was trying to live life by being a better person. He spent 28 years trying to love other people.
If he didn’t touch another person’s life while he was here on earth. He touched me that day by sharing with me a lesson, I dearly needed to learn.
It’s not our job to be judge, jury, and executioner. Our job is to love others.