Life in Christ: Avoiding Rash Judgement

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To avoid rash judgment, everyone should be careful to interpret insofar as possible his neighbor’s thoughts, words, and deeds in a favorable way:

Every good Christian ought to be more ready to give a favorable interpretation to another’s statement than to condemn it. But if he cannot do so, let him ask how the other understands it. And if the latter understands it badly, let the former correct him with love. If that does not suffice, let the Christian try all suitable ways to bring the other to a correct interpretation so that he may be saved.[279]

–1997 Catechism of the Catholic Church 2478

via myCatholic.com »Customizable Catholic Homepage.

 


[279] Sirach 21:28, “A whisperer defiles his own soul and is hated in his neighborhood.”

 

Just Saying
Keeping accordance to this is extremely difficult for men today and yesterday. However, the saturated nature of information today certainly does less to aid in the initial impression one receives concerning a person or given situation. Thus we require increasing amounts of grace to keep us from committing sins that, for me, can lead to if not equate the “bearing of false witness” against our neighbors.

For example, consider the “person of interest” in a highly publicized crime investigation. The media often presents their reports in manner that is generally interpreted by many to presume a certain amount of guilt. This is where the common notion of a “media trial” comes into play and why it is so important for jurors to remain in a media black-out in these cases.

It can be said that this bias, whether intended or not, is part of state of man after the Fall. Our concupiscence, or tendency towards sin, means that many of our thoughts begin with the presumed negative view of an action or person based on what is visible or heard, usually out of context. So it is incumbent upon to make sure that, like the Catechism teaches us above, to give the benefit of the doubt and seek to know and understand the truth prior to determining whether an act or person is bad or negative, thus we presume too much and fail to “notice the log that is in [our] own eye” (Luke 6:41, Cf. Matthew 7:3).

Without asking God for grace in this area of our lives and, in turn, accepting it, we would remain at a loss in the filth of our defiled soul.

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3 thoughts on “Life in Christ: Avoiding Rash Judgement

  1. Amen! This is one of those lessons that each and every one of us would do well to remember all the days of our lives.

  2. a difficult task with boundless rewards for I have met many a good person throguh the grace of God, which helped me overcome infantile prejudices such as clothing, hair, etc.

  3. a difficult task with boundless rewards for I have met many a good person throguh the grace of God, which helped me overcome infantile prejudices such as clothing, hair, etc.

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