Criticism, Judgment and Condemnation

It’s been sometime since anything specifically has tickled my fancy and inspired a thought that would motivate me to write. Recent events among my peers and associates has caused such inspiration.  I have found a particular interest in words especially three words in the English lexicon that are of great consequence and similar expression but quite different technically.   The words: Criticism, Judgment and Condemnation.  When researching these words and examining the basic levels of definition the words are quite significantly classified as synonyms; many of us stop where the interwoven definitions intersect.  Upon further study however, I believe it necessary to examine the more technical significance of the words.  Why? Words are of utmost important so much so that the pretext of one’s entire life changes with the simple substitution of one word for another.  Synonyms, while making evident similarities, are not always exacting therefore at times swapping one word for another can prove detrimental.  It is with this in mind that I take notice of the words criticism, judgment and condemnation in what I believe, are their technical contexts.  I discovered the history of the word criticism as found in its literary origins; specifically adapted to describe the work of evaluating or analyzing a piece of literature or other work of art for its merit and quality. Unlike the analytical nature of criticism the word judgment in essence, is most specifically expressed as the ability to form a conclusion from provided information and circumstances presented to the mind aka discernment. The final word in this piece is condemnation perhaps the most loaded of the three.  Condemnation finds it root in the word condemn which simply put means to pronounce unfit, therefore condemnation is the “act” of condemning.  Why the attention to these words and their respective definitions, as a Christian, or better yet simply as an adult when advice or information is given and is quite frankly not to the liking of the receiver I am hit with the responses:  Don’t Judge Me! Stop Criticizing! Rarely do I ever hear the word condemn unless it is a matter of capital punishment.  What I have found is many of us  use the words judge and criticize when what we really desire is to not be condemned. What I’ve learned from studying each word is simple….I have the responsibility to analyze the merits and quality of what ever I am presented with and when asked for advice I have the responsibility of providing the conclusion that I’ve drawn from the information given.  I do not however have the right to declare it unfit and exact final consequence.  With regards to my faith, Christians are given a bad bag when we merely restate what our creator has already “set in stone”  We are labeled as critical and judgmental sticks in the mud who want everyone unhappy and the fact is that’s just not fair to describe us as such is no less judgmental or critical. We walk a very narrow road and it becomes considerably more difficult when we considered something we’re not because we base the context of our lives and the advice we give with the view of Scripture in mind.  As a Christian I will say this; I have no heaven or hell to put anyone in, however the word of God says that it is by our own words that we will be justified or condemned (Matthew 12:37).  What you say matters.  Our words are so significant that they can cause death or bring life (Proverbs 18:21).  If  you should ask “Kellee what do you think, or what would you do?”  please know that I will “make a judgment call” when offering my opinion or advice.  If you would ask, “Kellee did that sound good to you or does that look right?”know that I will provide my critical analysis based upon merit and quality.  I will not condemn you, I can’t you however have that ability so watch what you do and what you say because it is for those things that you will be justified or condemned!


3 Responses to “Criticism, Judgment and Condemnation”

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