What if I loved more, judged less? That’s the question that filled my heart one morning during my quiet time with God.
When I looked up some verses about judging, Jesus’ words from Matthew 7:1-2 pierced me: “ ‘Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged’ ” (NLT).
My first thought, if I’m keeping it real, was, I don’t think I’m that judgmental of others, am I? I know I judge myself, but I think I’m gracious with others.
Not one hour later I read a text from a friend and found myself thinking some critical words about her. Thoughts that included “she should” and “she needs to.” I did, at least, manage to check myself and not text the judgmental words that filled my mind.
What in the world? I thought. Look at me doing the very thing I thought I didn’t do very much. Judging. And judging my friend, no less.
Take an Honest Look at Your Judging
I’ve been asking God to show me when I’m being unfairly judgmental or critical about others. I’ve discovered I can be judgy (not a real word but I’m using it) about the following:
- People who talk loudly on their cell phone in public places.
- Those who’ve gotten lots of obvious “enhancement” or plastic surgery.
- People who clip their toenails in public places (yes, I witnessed this recently).
- The young adult next to me on the airplane who was playing his movie without using headphones (yes, I asked him to turn it off).
Okay, these are fairly minor things. We all have preferences and can be critical of those who don’t adhere to ours.
But here are some more significant people I’ve judged:
- That person in my life who spent a whole lot of money on something that doesn’t make sense to me.
- A person in my life who’s made decisions that have irreparably damaged her family.
- A friend’s lifestyle choice that is totally counter to my values.
And I haven’t even touched on the cultural issues that trigger lots of judging. But I will in future blog posts.
So, what’s a girl to do with her judgements?
I’m asking God to show me what to do with my judgements. Do I put them down or defend them? And in the midst of this, how do I walk in love?
What about you? When you read Jesus’ words, “ ‘Do not judge others,’ ” what are your thoughts?
I’d love to hear.