The notes in this series are translated from the Telegram channel of Metropolitan Luke (Kovalenko) of Zaphorozhie and Melitopol (UOC).
Christ is in our midst, my dear readers!
Judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts (1 Cor. 4:5). These the words of Apostle Paul, which we heard today [July 22, 2022] during the divine services, should remind us once more about the sin that Christ rebuked most of all: judging. If each of my readers would take it upon themselves to control what they say for at least one day, they would discover with horror that there is almost no conversation that goes by without making some assessment of other people or events that take place in our lives. Judgment has become an inalienable part of our personalities; it has stuck to us and we can no longer imagine life without it. We simply can’t talk without judging someone.
One family of still young pensioners told me that they once decided to watch their conversations at home. The couple made an agreement that as soon as they start judging someone or something, they would immediately start singing, “The Blackthorns Are Blooming”. “Well, and how did it go?” I asked. “Well, devil take it, we sang all day.”
And that is just how we with our tongues weave ourselves eternal torment. Elder Paisios of Mt. Athos talked about how at the Last Judgment we will be very surprised: The one who killed a man will go to paradise, and the one who saved a man will go to hell. All because the first could have killed hundreds but didn’t, while the other could have saved thousands but also refused to do so. The same commandments are given to all of us, but people are different. Everyone has their own inherited traits, upbringing, and environment in which they grew up. We are more different from each other than the many different types of trees. After all, no one would demand from a spruce tree that it put out palm leaves, nor would anyone search for pine cones on a chestnut tree. Thus will God judge each of us according to what we could have done in in life but didn’t want to.
The most terrible thing about the sin of judgment is that we put ourselves in place of God, and is this manner take on the role of antichrist. The prefix “anti” means not only “against” but also “in place of”. We ourselves pronounce judgment in place of Christ. But we forget the words of the Savior: Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again (Matt. 7:1–2).