Throughout the course of my life, I can tell you:
I have judged others by the color of their skin.
I have judged others by the type of car they drove.
I have judged others by the political viewpoints they held.
I have judged others by the accent they had.
I have judged others by their education (or lack thereof).
I have judged others based on rumor and hearsay.
I have judged others simply by the way they looked at me.
I know I could make this list much longer...much, MUCH longer.
All of the above is a terrible embarrassment to admit to myself, let alone to confess it publicly.
I offer neither excuse nor defense.
It would be SO easy to point my finger at everyone else and declare, "I'm not the only one." After all, don't we feel a little better about ourselves when we know the world around us is just as messed up as we are?
But I can't do that. I won't do that.
I have enough to deal with in my own heart than to question, confront, or criticize what's in yours. The truth is, I don't know what is in your heart. To assume that I did, would be passing judgment on you (which would add another line to my confession list).
Jesus said, "Don't pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It's easy to see a smudge on your neighbor's face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, 'Let me wash your face for you,' when your own face is distorted by contempt? It's this whole traveling road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face, and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor." - Matthew 7:1-5 (MSG)
God commands me not to judge. That is reserved for Him alone. God commands me to love...unconditionally.
Learning to do that will take the rest of my life. But with His help, I will keep moving in that direction.