“Perceiving” or “Judging”? “Usher” or “Bouncer”?
Everybody I know has taken the Myers-Briggs personality test at one time or another. Most can remember their letters, like “ENTJ” or “ISTP”. The test was built in the 1920’s from the work of psychologist Carl Jung who theorized four principal psychological functions by which we experience the world: sensation, intuition, feeling, and thinking. The test puts these four functions into “either/or” categories….you’re extroverted or introverted, sensing or intuitive, thinking or feeling, and judging or perceiving. This last one’s my point today.
I have a goal to change my “J” to “P.” I want to spend my energy ‘perceiving’, not ‘judging.’ As I interact with people, I’m trying to perceive by ‘being present’, listening more intentionally, and by holding what I’m taking in with an open hand. The minute I start applying a standard, whether it’s mine, God’s, the ‘norm’, whatever… I stop learning. It’s just like a courtroom. After the last witness testifies, it’s judgment time. I want to hold my mind open longer and leave judging to the One who’s qualified.
Because Jesus told me to.
(Oh and by the way... He told you too!)
In Matthew 7:1, Jesus said “Do not judge, or you too 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. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?”
We have no influence with people who feel judged by us. They will spend their energy defending themselves and demonizing us & our self-righteousness. Yeah, I get the whole “love the sinner but hate the sin” thing… I grew up Baptist. But how do I love my wife but hate her femininity? Or love my friend Kevin but hate his blue eyes? Sadly, sin is a part of us. Part of our nature. If we reject everyone who sins, we’re alone. People come with a package… some more together than others. Those who don’t have it together can feel our judgment no matter how we hide it.
I believe we’ll ‘bear more fruit’ if we decide to love people who don’t know Jesus the same way we love people who do. Love is a choice we make, not a hole we fall into. So if we’ll choose to love people as they are and leave the judging to God, they might be drawn to our love and ultimately, to the Source of that love.
On page 92 of Love Does, Bob Goff says…
“(Jesus) said the people who followed Him should think of themselves more like the ushers rather than the bouncers, it would be God who decides who gets in. We’re the ones who simply show people their seats that someone else paid for."
Perceive or judge? Usher or bouncer?
Question: If the ‘outsiders’ in your life were asked “What’s it like to be on the other side of me?”, what would they say?