Rushing to Judgement

In light of Harry and Meghan's recent interview with Oprah, Mark Stephens cautions against rushing to judgement.

My world is abuzz with talk of royalty, race, and family estrangement. Morning television is running polls on whether I’m “Team Meghan” or “Team Buckingham.” Everyone seems to assume I’m in a position to judge. As Pete Ward has said in his book Gods Behaving Badly: “Even if we have very little interest in celebrities, we seem to know about them. In fact, we don’t just know about celebrities – we may well have somehow formed opinions about them….Celebrity culture thrives on the fact that we take a view and we form a judgement. It wants us to take the moral high ground.”

Truth be told, I don’t know exactly what to think, and even less what to say. What I can see is people who are in pain, relationships fractured, disputes not yet reconciled. Such realities are, lamentably, a regular feature of most every life. It’s just that we don’t have to unpack it all to a worldwide television audience.

The temptation is to rush to judgement, to make sense of the script by casting this person as the villain and that one as the hero. But I’m not in a position to know. And in my rush to opine on the difficulties of someone else, I’m uncomfortably reminded by the teachings of Jesus that I need to remove the plank out of my own eye before I try to remove the speck from others’. What is the pain I have caused? What relationships have I fractured? Who do I need to apologise to today?