"My Name is Hurst And I'm a Judgeaholic"


My name is Hurst and I’m a judgeaholic.  

At the time of this writing I have four days of sobriety.  

I don’t know when you get a chip in this recovery, but I’m afraid to get one.  

I’m afraid I’ll judge it.

I’m sure it won’t be the right color, or will be too round, or not round enough, or feel cheap, or be to big or too small…all in my studied estimation, of course.

Which is what counts to a judgeaholic.

Have you ever read the Bible and marveled at how the Israelites could royally screw up time after time after time after time time after time after time after time time after time after time after time time after time after time after time time after time after time after time time after time after time after time time after time after time after time time after time after time after time?

In a lot of cases after having just witnessed God perform some miracle or provide some provision that they neither deserved nor were grateful for?

I have.  Of course I have, because I judged them too, you see.

And the funny thing is that I am just like them.  I’m a Scribe.  I’m a Pharisee.  Jesus said woe unto me.  Matthew heard him say it eight times, Luke six.

Do you ever think about the disciples or the people who met Jesus when He was on earth and wonder how they could possibly miss Him as the Messiah?  

Of course I have—I’ve judged them too.

But I look at myself sober and realize that I don’t have the confidence that I would know Jesus if he sent me a singing Candygram and delivered it Himself.

Because I do not trust God to accomplish His purposes through whatever means He chooses.

Jesus went to great lengths to establish Himself as a different Messiah than the Israelites were expecting.  In a lot of cases, He deliberately sought situations in which he set himself up as being diametrically opposed to their expectations.

I interpret based on my own judgement, just like they did.  My interpretation then becomes my law and my idol, and that’s what I trust.  I’ll allow for God to work.  As long as he does it the way I think it should happen.  I love to limit God, because a limitless God scares me.

I wish it scared the hell out of me.  Instead it feels like it scares hell into me.

But the even more fundamental problem with that mindset is that the official record that we have of God accomplishing His purposes is filled with Him doing so in ways that few, if any, would have guessed or deemed appropriate had they been human actions.

God’s a specialist in working miracles through weakness and brokeness.  He’s the ultimate champion of the underdog and pulling out a glorious victory in the face of certain defeat.  The Uncaused First Cause, He makes something beautiful from nothing.  He literally creates life from death.  All of history testifies to this.

And I think I’m seeing that He does that so that there’s really no way to guess, because then the best guessers would rely on their own abilities.  

Instead, we have no choice but to follow...

BTW, do judgeaholics judge everyone and everything else to avoid judging themselves, or do we judge everything and everyone else because we’ve already judged ourselves, and found ourselves to be sorely lacking?

I think the answer is “yes.”

I can certainly attest to hating myself sometimes.  Well, most of the time.  O.k., every time I really consider myself.  I don’t know if that’s too blunt an admission for a church blog, but it’s the truth.  And I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who feels that way, at least to some degree.

So I get intoxicated on My Law, my judgement, my interpretation, to avoid confronting the reality of how I feel about myself.  Self medication.  Except the cure is worse than the disease.  And just like any other type of addict, I disappoint and hurt those around me who love me.

And the world’s interpretation of that problem is that the solution to it is to just stop hating ourselves and love ourselves.  That doesn’t really work.  

As in, at all.

It doesn’t work because we’re forced to justify self-love on the basis of any variety of man-made constructs that are just as flimsy as My Own Law.

I think the only escape from that is to stop thinking about myself and think about God instead.

Accept circumstances, people, etc. without judgement, and simply ask, “What do you require of me now, God?  How should I relate to this person, idea, circumstance, etc., to please you?” instead of worrying about whether My Own Law is being followed.

It’s in these rare moments of sobriety that I can hear that answer.  When I’m intoxicated I’m like the Israelites asking Moses if there weren’t enough graves in Egypt that they had to march into freedom between the halves of the Red Sea miraculously parted for their convenience and safety to perish dramatically in the wilderness.

I’m like the Sanhedrin, rejecting Jesus to death because he didn’t conform to my ideas of what he should have been like.

Ever wonder why God would deny the Knowledge of Good and Evil to Adam and Eve?


The same reason you don’t let a small child drive a car.  They are incapable of safely and constructively using such a powerful tool.  They will hurt themselves and others.

Imagine what life would be like had they never stolen that ability for humankind.  I wouldn’t judge.  I wouldn’t be able to.  I would simply look to God for guidance in every circumstance.

I’d be sober.

What is it we say in recovery?  

One day at a time...