Judgement From The Shadows

Matthew 7:1-2 “Don’t judge or you will be judged. For in the same way you judge others you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.”-

This passage in Matthew reinforces the idea that we are not supposed to judge other people or we ourselves will be judged. Most people attribute this judgement in return for our judgement of others to be from God. However, I do not believe this to be the case. Years ago, the father of analytic psychology, Carl Jung suggested that we all have a shadow side within. It consisted of the things that we cannot accept about ourselves and the things we try to hide from the world for fear of rejection. Eventually that shadow causes us discomfort and we are moved to find an outlet for it. Jung believed that the shadow had the ability to be our greatest teacher if we would simply shine some light into it and come to terms with it. Sadly, many fail to do this. They push the shadow down and repress it thinking they can make it go away, but alas, it slips through the cracks and surfaces in unhealthy ways. One of these ways is called “projection.” Projection is when we take a feeling or quality within ourselves and apply it to another person. Often, the very thing we are projecting on another is something within us that we fail to acknowledge. For example, the founder of the controversial “conversion therapy” which hoped to counsel an LGBTQ individual into becoming straight, eventually debunked his own theory and came out as gay himself. His inability to acknowledge and accept his own sexuality led to the creation of arguably one of the most destructive therapies ever created. When we ignore our shadow and it escapes on its own, it inevitably creates suffering and havoc in its wake. For those that judge others, they too are judged. Not by God, as many have interpreted, but by their very internal condition. So, in essence when one judges others, they are simultaneously judging themselves. The grace they deprive others of is then withheld from them. This does nothing to eliminate the shadow. It only temporarily relieves the discomfort of its presence. Only by looking within ourselves and shining light into these darker areas of our lives do we grow. Perhaps, if we have the courage to look within, we will find that frightening and intimidating shadow can be our greatest ally in our healing and growth. It can become a source of grace in our interactions with others. By shining light into our own shadows, we avoid it becoming toxic to us and the world around us and suddenly what was once terrifying is now accepted, acknowledged, and owned helping us to become the best expression of who we were created to be. The desire to judge should be cause for self reflection within us. Think about that the next time you are tempted to judge another.-

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: