How to Determine if You Judge Others
How to Determine if You Judge Others
Yikes! I judge others. I don’t want to do that. I think I have moved beyond it. But, during times of introspection, Jesus shines a light and dark spots are revealed. What about you? Do you judge others? Oh, we can whitewash it and pretend that we don’t. We can disguise it or even choose to fool ourselves. However, as we look around us or turn on what used to be called “the news” - we hear judgmental opinions being spewed out like a shook up can of cola! How did we get here? Divided. Opinionated. Casting Judgments. Lord, help us! Help us to see our evil ways. Convict us and change us. Help us to become gracious people who are quick to forgive.
Did you know the most referenced scripture in the Bible is Matthew 7:1, “Judge not, that you be not judged.”? Most often it is quoted by someone who is offended and wants others to know they have no business judging them. It is taken out of context and used inappropriately. We read that scripture is the “sword of the Spirit”, a “double-edged sword” and we whip it out ready to use against others who disagree with us. However, when we do that – we are wrong. God’s word is given to us, to apply to us, and this sword should be used to cut away all that is dark within us.
So how do we determine if we judge others? Here are a few questions that will help you. Be honest with yourself and see how many apply to you…
· Are you superficial? Do you decide someone’s value simply by sizing us their appearance? You don’t know them, but you think you all know about them. You comment on their weight or their style or their color?
· Can you be hypocritical? (Go ahead and say yes. The struggle is real, right?) It is so easy to see the sin of others and even point it out. We are angered by the sin of others, yet we are not the least bit embarrassed by our own.
· Are you a grace-giver? Well, you aren’t if you have people you have not forgiven. Or maybe you forgave them - but you cling to the pain, wielding it as a weapon against them.
· Do you gossip or *ahem* share prayer requests? Gossip is dangerous and hurts others deeply and most often is based on assumptions and falsehoods.
· Are you proud or self-righteous? Do you hate criticism and live in denial when it comes to your faults? Scripture says, “God opposes the proud.”
· Do you rant on social media? This is a new way to cast judgment, isn’t it? We post a graphic about true friendship or “people who” and before we know it dozens of people jump on the bandwagon to cast their judgments, too.
** If you are reading this list and thinking about someone other than yourself, you judge others. (Said with so much love you cannot imagine.)
Oh, my! This is a painful post. Again, let’s all cry out, “Lord, help us!” We need to understand the difference in judging and having discernment. We need to know what is sinful and what to avoid, so of course we can sometimes see it when others are partaking in what we have been shown is wrong. However, we can be gracious and not see ourselves as better. Instead, we need to realize “but for the grace of God, there go I”. How dare I stand in judgment of others when I am a broken and flawed child of God. He has forgiven me much, so I can forgive others. His grace has rained down on me, so I can show others grace. His love for me is unconditional, so I can love others. I can do this, in His strength, because He is alive in me. And YOU can do it too.
Yes, there are scriptures that teach us there is a time when we need to approach someone because of their sin. But remember, Matthew 7:5 tells us to remove the plank out of our own eye so we can clearly see to remove the speck out of our sister’s eye. Whenever you find yourself focusing on the sin of others, stop and ask yourself, “What about my sin? What about my sin, Lord? Reveal it to me, remove it from me, reform me, Lord!”
In the meantime, love one another.
“Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.”
I Peter 4:8
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