Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Luke 6:37
We All Judge, We’ve All Been Judged
Let’s be real for a moment, we all judge; it is a sin that is rooted deep within. We pass unrighteous judgment on others based on our observations and interactions which creates the tone for why we place people into categories. Compartmentalizing, better known as judging, aids us in defining who and what we think people are – while sad, it is very true. God taught us that we should not judge, it is only He that has the power for final judgment (Matthew 7:1, Psalm 50:6).
Personally speaking, I have found myself guilty of judging others. Most recently, I had a powerful conversation with someone about the many echoing valleys they had been and continue to go through at the time of our chat. Curious about their situation, I began to ask questions which led to more questions. After about ten minutes of chatting, there was an awkward moment of silence. Then, they spoke and expressed how my questions made them feel.
In that very moment, they shared that they felt that I was judging them. Shocked by their suggestion, I began to take the defense, but after a few short breaths and minutes of silence – I began to question myself, “Was I really judging them” and “If I was, what right did I have to do that?”.
I immediately began to assess the conversation repeatedly in my head, then I placed myself in their shoes – and the light bulb lit up! I had indeed judged them and my posture and communication style was presented in a way that made them feel inferior. It was not at all my intention to judge, nonetheless, I had judged someone without reason. In this situation, I had failed to follow the very necessary steps that could have eliminated my judgment and poor means of communication.
Humility Heals Those Who Judge
To circumvent and halt our judgment of others, here are four humble behaviors to help us in following Jesus’ way of expressing love and humility, while breaking the cycle of judging:
1. Instead of judging, accept that…
We are not a judge or jury. We must accept the fact that everyone has a story and has free will to decide what they want to do, how they want to live their life, and that it’s all relative to their story, values, and beliefs (Joshua 24:15).
2. Be careful and mindful of…
Thoughts that are coming to your mind and words that you speak. We should only speak good things into and about others (Ephesians 4:29). We must be careful and mindful of how we respond, represent, and react to others. When we feel the urge to judge or speak in an unloving way, we should pause for a moment, and rephrase our internal thoughts before we communicate them. The communication must be positive or at the very least not ill-spirited. Remember that once words are released, they cannot be retracted.
3. Place yourself in others’ shoes…
Realize that you are like him or her – we are all human. We must remind ourselves that we all have our own weaknesses; we all make wrong decisions.
Remember we are not different from each other. Try to remind yourself that not one of us is free from any sufferings or struggles, for we all have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Visualizing that we are similar in many ways will help us fight the emotion to wrongfully judge our brothers and sisters.
4. Appreciate yourself and others, and circle back to step 1…
When we show appreciation for ourselves and others, we help build on the foundation of leading lives that are Christ-like. We must not view others by their sins, but see them that has the capability to make good things from their shortcomings. We must learn to love others despite their personality, race, errors, position, or talents. No one is perfect but God (Mark 10:18), and we must remember that when we begin to steer towards judging others.
God’s desire is for us to be merciful so that we can live free from evil judgment and criticism. He expects us to be considerate of others, and ponder over our own lives as we work to live our lives as the Bible tells us.
SO, WHAT’S THE PLAY CALL?
Focus. Pray. Slay. Revisit. Speak.
Focus on living the way God has designed for us. Pray for guidance in your daily walk. Slay the negative judgment of others and continue to chase God’s purpose and plan for your life. Create a roadmap of scriptures, keep them in clear view, and revisit them daily to combat the temptation of judgment. Continue to speak life and great things over yourself and others (Colossians 4:6).
Let us work together to love, encourage, and pray for one another as God does with us!