When I first heard about boomerangs, I thought it was kind of hooky that I could supposedly throw a stick away from me and it would come back to me. Someone explained that a boomerang wasn’t just any stick but rather a smoothly crafted piece of wood at an approximate 90 degree angle. Additionally, the boomerang is thrown with great force and will return to the person who threw it, or in close proximity. As a side note, there are also “non-returning” boomerangs if you want to explore this topic more thoroughly. From what I can see, boomerangs originated with the Aborigines in Australia, which reminded me of Crocodile Dundee, for those of us on the “more seasoned” spectrum of aging.
I’m likening the boomerang thang to what Jesus says about judgment in His Sermon on the Mount in Luke 6:35-38, along with Matthew 7:1-6. In both of these passages, Jesus tells us that the measure of judgment that we use or employ will be equally measured back and returned to us. To be concise, how much we judge is how much we will be judged–how much judgment we will receive.
I have experienced this first hand at various times in my life. I’ll never forget being in high school and going through a season when I wanted to be highly righteous, upstanding, pious, holy and pleasing in God’s sight. At that time in my thinking, this meant that I didn’t listen to secular music, no cussing, lots of Bible memorizing, minimal contact with my peers and endeavoring to keep my thoughts holy and pure. In theory, I think this could be a good thing. However, my efforts to be holy also meant that I was judgmental towards others, unkind, critical, demeaning and withdrawn. As a result, it’s not surprising that my friendships tanked in this season.
In contrast, I’ve never experienced such opulent and authentic love as when I walk through a brothel in a developing country hugging moms, being friendly, welcoming, affectionate, conversational and sincerely caring. It’s not so much that I receive an outpouring of love from these moms as much as I experience God loving me in an extravagance that I’ve never experienced before.
Some things I’ve learned about judging, being merciful, loving and connecting with people might also be helpful to you:
- I don’t need to understand a person’s situation to be compassionate. I can choose compassion without understanding how a person arrived in a difficult space.
- Judging others disconnects me from them. When I judge, it often happens that my eyes are closed, my heart is detached, my ears don’t hear and it’s very difficult to be wholly present with someone I am judging.
- The more I’m merciful, the more mercy I experience and appreciate (Luke 6:36).
- My Heavenly Father is merciful, so as His daughter, I can perpetuate mercy because of my Father’s DNA in me.
- If I judge intolerant and judgmental people, how am I any different?
As I finish this blog, I’m reminded that being judgmental is a boomerang that I don’t want to return to me. The very first time I threw a boomerang, it returned to me and hit me with surprising force and accuracy. Indeed, the boomerang came back with such force that it hit me and left a painful bruise. Let’s be determined not throw out the judgment boomerang, lest it return back on us with painful results.