I’m not much of one to complain about receiving poor service somewhere, especially at a restaurant. For the most part, I let my voice be heard through my repeat business, or lack thereof. But every once in a while, there’s that special business that just begs for me to leave a positive or negative review online of their performance. My favorite places to go are Google and Facebook for leaving star reviews (1-5 star format) and comments about their exceptional or unsatisfactory performance.
Strangely, though, I’ve foung that often these businesses have intentionally made it impossible to leave a review for them. While most businesses can be reviewed, certain others cannot. It appears that the method for dodging reviews on these and other sites is for the business to intentionally leave out an address. When the businesses operate both nationally and worldwide, it’s clear that they have an actual address. You won’t find it on these businesses, though, because they don’t want you coming there and they don’t want you leaving them a review.
Here’s my question: why are so many people afraid of being judged?
If you’re in the world of business, in any capacity, you’ll be judged. You’ll be judged for your work efforts, your professionalism, your tact, and the results of your work efforts. Few businesses have the luxury of operating in a bubble these days, and neither do their employees. They will be evaluated by their leaders, the public, and even investors in their companies. Companies that do everything they can to avoid people sharing their experiences with their goods and services fail to understand that everyone must, and will, be judged for their performance.
So, how does this apply to Christianity? None of us can avoid being judged either. We’re not supposed to judge each other, according to the Bible. Matthew 7:1-2 says, “Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults—unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging.” We should always do our best not to judge others. I personally believe it is excellent practice in life that if you must criticize for the sake of mentoring someone, criticize the behavior, never the person. This makes the correction about a single action rather than a summary judgment about the person as a whole.
Here’s a harsh reality for us all to bear in mind, though: we will all be judged. No matter how kind and non-judgmental we are toward others, they will judge us. No matter how badly we want to “hide our stars” from others, they will cast their judgment on us. And, of course, God will cast his judgment on us as we come to him for entry into Heaven for eternal life.
What, then, is the answer if we will be judged? To live a life of acts of which we can be proud. I like to think of it this way: is what you’re doing, or about to do, something of which you’d be proud if it showed up as the top headline in the newspapers tomorrow morning? If so, you’re probably going to be fine. If not, ask yourself why you wouldn’t be proud? I pointed out to my son recently that when he logs into his computer, his first and last name are posted at the top-right corner of the computer screen. I reminded him that everything he does on that computer is a reflection of the integrity of his name, and his behavior should reflect this. If we can all live our lives with these guidelines in mind, I believe we will be judged firmly but fairly by others and by God.
In summary, here are the three things that can make us proud to let the world “see our stars”:
- Avoid judging other people. Criticize behaviors for the sake of learning, if appropriate, but never criticize the person directly.
- Realize that we will be judged by others, and live life in a manner in which we can be publicly proud.
- We will be judged by God, so live life in a manner in which we can be proud privately.
Zig Ziglar used to say that “life is tough, but the world will be infinitely easier if you’re tough on yourself first.” We will all sin, and require the loving forgiveness of our creator. Vince Lombardi said, “If we chase perfection, we can achieve excellence.” Do all that you can to give yourself high standards to which to live up, and avoid judgment of others. You’ll find that when it’s your time to be judged, you’ll be a five-star success in the most important arena of all: life.
May God bless you, now and always.