To Judge or Not to Judge

Have you ever felt judged?

Or, have you ever worried about cancel culture destroying your future due to your opinion?

Many of us understand how poor judgment can ruin a person. Yet, we tend to jump on the bandwagon rather than defend a person who might be guilty but wasn’t proven guilty.

The real question is whether you’re going to join the proverbial lynch mob. To help you decide, I’m going to share with you a test I learned about this week. The T.I.N.O. test helps you determine if you should get involved with judging others or not.

Here are the four steps as shared with me…

T is for Time Consuming

Try to determine how much time this activity rising from judgment will take from your life. We only get 24-hours each day and you have goals and dreams to chase. If your efforts take precious time away from your goals, walk away.

I is for Irrelevant to My Goals

If judging the other person detracts from your goals, it’s not an activity worth engaging in. Some will argue that if the issue holds a significant value within your goals, you should engage.

But if not, don’t get absorbed. Your goals are too precious.

N is for Negative or Energy Draining

Most of us need a lot of positive feedback to keep us moving down the path of our goals. A person who doesn’t get inundated by negativity might enjoy judging others. Be cautious of those judgments that drain you.

When judging slows the progress of your personal goals, it isn’t the right choice.

O is for Outside of My Control/Influence

There is no reason to judge others if it won’t move your goals ahead. If you think judging will help someone to make better decisions, you may have a control problem.

My Views

Years ago, a Hebrew man named Yeshua told a story to give perspective. His story was about a man with a speck in his eye. Another man immediately noticed the speck and pointed it out. He had judged and condemned the man for not having pure eyes.

Yeshua pointed out that the man making the judgment on the impure eyes had a large I-beam hanging out of his own eye. The one judging the other had greater impurities in his life than the man with the speck. When I heard that part of the story, I thought that Yeshua was judging the man with the I-beam hanging out of his eye. But he wasn’t.

Yeshua didn’t point out if the first man was rightly or wrongly judged. Nor did he suggest the second man was accurate or inaccurate in his judgment. He suggested that the guy with the I-beam should deal first with his own issues, and then, help the first man with his.

Yeshua’s story wasn’t about judgment, although he alluded to its foolishness. His story was about us taking care of ourselves first and then helping others.

If we are helping ourselves or helping others, we are helping, not judging.

If we are judging, we are not helping.

You can use the T.I.N.O. method to determine if you should judge or not. As for me, I have no reason to judge others. But you can count on me taking care of my issues first, and then offering my help to you.

Copyright © 2021 by CJ Powers

The New Power Couple

I have a friend who dreams of finding the right guy. She longs to be part of a team that helps others and makes a difference in life. It’s her lifelong goal to be half of a power couple.

This is a common desire for both men and women in the early stages of healthy dating. We always want to dream of our future and picture our teammate helping to make sure our dreams come true. And most of us want to reciprocate.

But in many marriages, one of the two individuals bring a critical eye to the relationship. Most of the time the couple takes turns being critical of the other.

For instance, one might be a neat freak and the other sloppy. The sloppy person gets criticized in hopes that they will one day mature and pick up after themselves. But alas, that person has a mental aversion to putting things away.

The table turns on the couple when it comes to finances. The person that leaves their socks on the floor happens to be great at investments and has doubled the couple’s money every seven years. But, the neat freak spends every extra dollar they get.

If you want to turn your marriage into a power couple or dream team, consider these four steps to empower a healthy marriage.

Affirm Away the Critical

We can never change the other person. But the more we affirm the right actions, the more likely they will choose to do similar things in the future. When we’re critical of each other, we want to spend less time together. But when we hear our spouse praise our actions that make the marriage work, we tend to repeat those behaviors more often.

I did something similar with my kids as they grew up. I’d keep a keen eye on them so the moment they did something helpful for the family, I’d bath them in praise. That positive affirmation improved our family. Everyone wanted to see the family succeed.

This team atmosphere empowered us to do some remarkable things. We made a radio drama that aired on WGN Radio as a part of a family competition. where we received an all-expenses-paid vacation to Disneyland. We made an animated cartoon and our family story got published in a Chicago newspaper. We also did more local things including building a cardboard boat and competed in a boat regatta. And, we took first place for most original float one fourth of July.

Brag on Your Spouse in Public

Every time you praise your spouse in public, you strengthen your marriage. That positive energy lifts our spouse and solidifies in everyone’s mind that you two are a team. This works even better when your spouse overhears your comments.

Great compliments are about your spouse’s character traits, actions, and giftings. The key is to be authentic and not force the topic. The positive comment must fit the conversation. If it comes out of the blue, it seems disingenuous.

Back when I was married, my wife had a goal of writing a magazine article for a major magazine. She was a wonderful writer and the competition was intense. When she got her breakthrough, I understood what a joyous moment that was.

I couldn’t help but share it with friends and throw her a surprise autograph party. I got enough copies of the national magazine featuring her article so she could sign a copy for everyone. While she didn’t like being in the spotlight, everyone knew that I was proud of her.

Care for Your Spouse’s Overzealous Strengths

I was once taught that our giftings are both a blessing and a curse. For instance, the person gifted with perseverance might come across as stubborn. We love that their perseverance will help us all to succeed, but we can’t stand it when they won’t take a break at times.

Some of my friends love my diverse background and eclectic knowledge. But there are times when they can see my mental wheels turning and wish that I’d turn off my brain for a time. Some have gotten upset to the point of calling me a know-it-all.

A great spouse and team player would signal me when my sharing gets over the top. After all, I can get caught up in the moment and over-share at times. A good teammate can help us navigate our zealousness.

Divvy-up Bad Chores

In all relationships, we learn that both individuals hate certain chores. At that point, we have to discuss who will take on what issues so our couple-ness can prosper.

I remember a time when I was married, my wife made it clear that she was not able to pick up after the dog barfed. She could handle dirty diapers, but animal vomit that turned her green.

At that moment, we decided that I’d be the primary cleaner when one of our dogs got sick. In turn, she wanted to be the primary diaper changer. Over our 23-year marriage, we both handle both types of clean-up. When we were both available, we took care of our primary functions to keep us moving forward.

Build Your Power Couple Dream Team

Keep an eye out to find your spouse doing something right and give them praise. When given an open door in conversation, take time to brag about your spouse in public.

Don’t let your spouse’s overzealous passions separate you. Instead, keep them in a healthy zone using signals. And, learn what chores your spouse can’t stand and lighten their load by picking up what you can handle.

By focusing on these things daily, you’ll guide your couple’s dream team into a new world of leadership. Many people are desperate for a healthy marriage role model couple. It’s time for you to practice these steps and help those around you do the same.

Copyright © 2021 by CJ Powers

When Joy Bubbles Over

I’ve had the opportunity to observe numerous people that thrive when they have fun. Their lighthearted soul is playful and filled with imagination. Many times, innovation springs forth from those delightful and well-hearted souls.

We all appreciate their results of tinkering and fooling around in life, as we often benefit from their creations. Most of the tools we use in daily life were created during a fun-filled moment. Even our entertainment was sealed in fun.

So why are there so many who want to bring an end to the creative person’s fun?

I remember visiting a church where everyone had a forlorn look about them. Their countenance displayed hardships and burdens. It was an unpleasant visit. But before I left, I felt compelled to ask the reason for a mood worth lamenting.

The gentleman told me that everyone was filled with joy on the inside, something that no one could take away from them.

I knew he was lying, but he didn’t know that he was lying.

You see, when joy is present it can’t sit idle. It must bubble up and spill out into life. The joyful person always infects those around them with fun, laughter, and warmth. It’s not possible to contain such joy.

Over the past 18-months, many have lived with a fear hanging over them. Any hope mentioned during the previous administration was shot down. Others attempting to bring humor to our absurd cultural changes were silenced by Cancel Culture.

Big tech blatantly closed thousands of accounts that shared words of hope, joy, and humor. They stated it was not factual or that the shared words could harm people. They silenced any who didn’t agree with their fear-based narrative.

And yet, at the local level, creative joy-filled individuals found ways to make their neighbors smile.

It’s time for our leaders to put fun and love, front and center. We need people who will allow their inner joy to bubble up around us and quench our aching hearts.

During my playful moments, I’ve considered creating a streaming show that is all about fun. Sure, there’d be some great insights and take-aways shared, but it would be done in an entertaining manner. I wouldn’t want anyone to leave without a smile.

Since many of you have followed some of my experiences, how about letting me know your thoughts on what this show could be like. I’d love to hear from you and consider any fun idea that pops into your mind.

Together, we can impact those around us and create a new national agenda filled with fun, love, and hope.

Copyright © 2021 by CJ Powers