Archive for March 23rd, 2022

Avoiding Rash Judgment


Written by Thomas A Kempis (1380-1471), the author of “The Imitation of Christ”, one of the most popular and best-known Christian books on devotion.  This meditation is an excerpt from that book.

Turn your attention upon yourself and beware of judging the deeds of other men, for in judging others a man labors vainly, often makes mistakes, and easily sins; whereas, in judging and taking stock of himself he does something that is always profitable. We frequently judge that things are as we wish them to be, for through personal feeling true perspective is easily lost. If God were the sole object of our desire, we should not be disturbed so easily by opposition to our opinions. But often something lurks within or happens from without to draw us along with it. Many, unawares, seek themselves in the things they do. They seem even to enjoy peace of mind when things happen according to their wish and liking, but if otherwise than they desire, they are soon disturbed and saddened. Differences of feeling and opinion often divide friends and acquaintances, even those who are religious and devout. An old habit is hard to break, and no one is willing to be led farther than he can see. If you rely more upon your intelligence or industry than upon the virtue of submission to Jesus Christ, you will hardly, and in any case slowly, become an enlightened man. God wants us to be completely subject to Him and, through ardent love, to rise above all human wisdom.


Written by Ephraim the Syrian (AD 305-373), a Syriac Christian deacon and theologian who wrote a variety of hymns, poems and sermons, and other theological documents.

O Lord and Master of my life,

give me not the spirit of laziness,

despair, lust of power, and idle talk.

But give rather the spirit of sobriety,

humility, patience, and love to Thy servant.

Yea, O Lord, and King

grant me to see my own transgressions

and not to judge my brother,

for blessed art Thou unto ages of ages. Amen.


Signs of the JudgmentPerformed by by the Colorado State University Concert Choir.

This traditional spiritual was arranged for choral performance by Mark Butler in 2005.

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