We are in the first week of Lent and many of us have decided (or are still deciding) what to give up. Giving up some pleasure that we will really miss, helps us focus and be reminded of the sacrifice of Christ and the 40 days Jesus fasted in the desert. The idea of giving something up is to discipline oneself in order to be focused on Christ's love for you and for all people.
On this theme of love, Jesus said at the last supper, "I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you should love one another. By this, everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." John 13: 34, 35 (NRSV). Jesus teaches that love for one another as the distinguishing feature of his followers. I am suggesting that this lent we also give up being judgmental of others. We are in a judgmental society. Judging others comes too easy to us, causing pain and division. When we judge others less, the love of Jesus can flow through us more. Less judgement leads to more understanding, compassion, and encouragement. This lent, lets be disciplined to practice Jesus' new commandment.