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I Can’t Stand Judgmental Christians

Written By Kelsey Tarver, USA

I used to think like this: Judgmental? Not me! I can’t stand people who judge others.

The contradiction was right there in the statement, and somehow I was oblivious to it. But I said this boldly because I meant it.

The very sound of the word “judgmental” makes me cringe. If I close my eyes, it makes me picture a proud face with a stuck up nose, glaring eyes, and an air of disapproval looming in my direction. But the worst kind of judgment is the kind that comes from a loved one or a friend.

I know all about being judged. Growing up as a pastor’s kid, I became used to all eyes being glued to my family. Like a giant magnifying glass constantly observing; “What is she wearing? Why were they late to church today? Is that a new car? How did they afford that?  Why is she talking in service?” Even into my adult years as a member of staff in a church, I have felt the constant eyes critiquing my every move.

Of course, not everyone was like this. For the most part I loved growing up in front of so many people in a loving church family. But aren’t there always just a few members who know how to make your blood boil? I would store them in a place in my mind that said, “Well, I love them but I don’t have to like them.”

This created a passion in me to never judge other people. I longed to extend grace and understanding, and judgmental gossip alone would make rage stir up inside my soul. My sensitivity towards this was birthed out of a very pure place. I simply longed so deeply for others to not have to feel bullied or judged, and I wanted everyone I encountered to feel accepted and loved.

But somehow along the way this pure desire ended up manifesting itself into a form of judgment that my eyes could not see. What was once an aspiration towards true love turned into love for people who were like me, with limited grace towards others who struggled with judgment or gossip.

The irony is thick! The very thing I hated, ended up being exactly what I became.

 

The trap of judgement

As Christians, I think it can be very easy to fall into the trap of judgment because we all have a high standard of how we want each other to live. We know what the Bible says and we expect each other to act like it. Unfortunately, when judgment sneaks its way into our church walls, we start looking a whole lot more critical of one another and a lot less like love.

Judgment has a slippery little way of sneaking its way into our hearts if we aren’t paying attention to our motives. It’s a sin that can sometimes be birthed from a pure place of longing for justice, but when only justice is present and grace gets left behind it leaves both sides feeling wounded. As Christian writer C.S. Lewis said, “See the Bear in his own den before you judge his conditions.”

Maybe that person absolutely hates that they are judgmental or gossipy. Maybe just like any other addict, they have to work each and every day to jump over their hurdle of their temptation to judge. Maybe their mom, or grandma, or family comes from a long line of being very judgmental and it’s all they’ve ever been around and have to work their tail end off to stay positive.

I judged judgmental people because I had, by accident, boxed them up and labeled them all the same. Gossips, pot stirrers, mean, etc. but the thing is no one person is the same. Each person has different life experiences, pains, and pasts shaping them. Lewis also says, “Don’t judge a man by where He is, because you don’t know how far He has come.”

Once I understood that hurt people, hurt people, it made me feel more sympathetic to people who spend so much time talking about others or tearing them down with judgment or gossip.

 

Love one another

We are to love judgers the same way we would an alcoholic or a sex or drug addict. To know that every person has a weakness, and that the quickest way to helping one another overcome our issues is to lay our judgment aside and learn to simply be there for one another, in love and in grace.

Scripture is very clear about judgment. I cringe now thinking that I used to hear lessons about judgment and somehow thought it wasn’t my burden to bear. God taught me to check my heart, know my worth, and never ever think that I had something mastered in my faith walk. The enemy loves to watch pride manifest in the areas that we think we have under control.

It is human nature to have certain people we connect to more than others in the body of Christ. But God has taught me that though that might be true, each and every person deserves to be treated with the same level of love and respect, even if it seems extremely hard to do so.

God gives us the ability to love deeper than we could have ever dreamed, and this applies even to those people who just seem to crawl under our skin. Unity is essential to the bride of Christ, and when we truly leave judgment at the door, it leaves a much more beautiful and whole picture of true Christ-like love on display.

 

“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. “And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own?  How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye?  Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.” (Matthew 7:1-5)

ODB: You Missed the Chance

October 27, 2015 

READ: 1 Corinthians 13 

If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 1 Corinthians 13:2

 

I heard the saddest words today. Two believers in Christ were discussing an issue about which they had differing opinions. The older of the two seemed smug as he wielded Scripture like a weapon, chopping away at the things he saw as wrong in the other’s life. The younger man just seemed weary of the lecture, weary of the other person, and discouraged.

As the exchange drew to a close, the older man commented on the other’s apparent disinterest. “You used to be eager,” he started, and then abruptly quit. “I don’t know what it is you want.”

“You missed the chance to love me,” the young man said. “In all the time you’ve known me, what has seemed to matter most to you is pointing out what you think is wrong about me. What do I want? I want to see Jesus—in you and through you.”

Had this been said to me, I thought, I would have been devastated. In that moment I knew the Holy Spirit was telling me there had been people I had missed the chance to love. And I knew there were people who couldn’t see Jesus in me either.

The apostle Paul tells us that love must be the underlying motive in anything we do; in everything we do (1 Cor. 13:1-4). Let’s not miss the next chance to show love.

— Randy Kilgore

Ask the Holy Spirit to show you today who it is you’ve missed the chance to love. Then ask Him to give you another opportunity. Start your conversation with these words: “I’m sorry . . .”


Love beats lectures every time.

 

Did Jesus Really Tell Us Not to Judge?

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged.”

We’ve all read Jesus’ words in Matthew 7:1. It’s a popular verse that’s often used to rebuke Christians for judging the lifestyles, practices, or values of other people. This is especially so when it comes to highly contentious and contested debates, such as gay marriage and abortion.

Who is right—those who declare such things as sin, or those who argue that Jesus disapproves of those who judge? I remember feeling lost and confused about whose side I was supposed to take.

Perhaps, however, it is the common assumption underlying this verse that we need to address first. Did Jesus really tell us not to judge others?

The short answer is no. Jesus did tell us to make judgments, but with a caveat: there’s a difference between judgment as condemnation, and judgment as discernment. In the famed passage—Matthew 7—where Jesus tells His followers “not to judge”, He makes a distinction between the two.

Don’t condemn others

Jesus did warn His followers against condemning others hypocritically like the Pharisees did. The Pharisees thought that because they were God’s chosen people, they were spiritually and morally better than the Gentiles. Today, we too can easily make the same mistake when we condemn other people for their sins.

But Jesus tells us that this is wrong. When we see others as inferior to us—be it in terms of religion, background, or circumstance—we are in effect saying that they are less worthy or valuable than we are. Jesus warns us not to see ourselves as inherently better than any other.

“You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye” (Matthew 7:5). Jesus’ point is that before we judge the sins of others, we ought to examine ourselves first. We are to repent of our own sins and correct our lives before seeking to correct others. If we judge others because we believe we are superior or more righteous than they—while committing the very same sins—then we are no different from the Pharisees. This is what both Jesus (Matthew 23:25-28) and the apostle Paul also warned against (Romans 2:3).

Jesus also warned us not to judge others based on superficial attributes, the way Simon the Pharisee did to the woman who wept at Jesus’ feet. He had criticized her because of her reputation (Luke 7:36-50). This is what Jesus means when he says in John 7:24, “Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.”

Discern between right and wrong

While Jesus rejects an unholy sense of moral superiority, He does want us to discern wisely between right and wrong. In fact, throughout the Bible we are commanded to do so (Hebrews 5:14, 1 Corinthians 2:14-15). This discernment, however, should not cross the line into condemnation.

Judgment is essential for assessing what is right and wrong. We have an almost instinctive reaction when we witness sin being committed. It could be your sister stealing money from your mother’s purse, or a government carrying out genocide halfway across the globe.

Opposing or confronting sin is not wrong. When we stand for God’s standard and definition of truth and holiness, we are against what is false and sinful. What is wrong is accepting the popular but inaccurate notion that we should not judge anything as wrong.

Yet today, the word “judgment” has taken on such extreme negative connotations.

What we ought to do

As Christians, we ought to stop and ask ourselves (and God), “Am I condemning critically with unholy and unrighteous motivations, while committing the very same sin? Or am I prayerfully discerning between what is good and evil according to God’s Word, with the intent of pointing others gently towards Christ?”

We are called to examine our own hearts first, before seeking to correct others (Jeremiah 17:9). Once we have prayerfully and rightly discerned, we should speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). There cannot be one without the other.

Galatians 6:1 tells us that if a fellow believer is trapped in sin, we should “restore him gently”. Similarly, James 5:20 tells us that “whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins.”

When we talk about our stand on what’s right and wrong, or when we see fellow Christians doing something wrong, we should remember that we aren’t called to point fingers, but to point them towards Christ. This is what speaking love with truth means.

Let us follow the example of our Lord and Savior, who confronted critical attitudes, encouraged wise discernment between good and evil, and embodied truth and grace perfectly (John 1:14).

Simply Love

By Jude Dias , Walk The Same

Read: Matthew 7:1
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged.”

This may be one of the most popular verses out there. In fact it is so popular that I was familiar with the verse before I read it in the Bible. While it is a very powerful and meaningful verse that does deserve the popularity it has, I personally believe that it is popular largely due to an unpopular reason. Two words: misguided context. Let me explain the verse in its wider context—“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye” (Matthew 7:3-5).

Judging someone isn’t really the way to go and it’s mainly because we get carried away with the pointing-of-fingers bit and as a result, fail to take into account the negative stuff that we are doing in our own lives. And the reason why we fail to take into account our own faults is because we get so engrossed with the fault of the other person. I’ve no idea why but when we get started, it’s like adding fuel to fire. However, to judge someone is totally different from pointing someone in the right direction.

In the Bible, Christ tells us to pull out the plank from our own eyes first, which would allow us to see clearly when it comes to helping someone else pull out the speck from their own eyes. Essentially what this means is that we shouldn’t just stop ourselves and think all is jolly and well just as soon as we’ve addressed our shortcomings and sin; rather, we need to go out there and help others identify their shortcomings which they don’t usually see or notice for themselves.

If we are going to point fingers at someone else and not really help them or share advice because we don’t really have genuine concern for their mind, body and soul, then what are we really doing? Pointing fingers is a game that everyone and anyone can play but what sets the Christian apart from others is that they are those who actually go out there, help someone see the (wrong/incorrect) path they are taking and offer help and advice to address the concern at hand.

People who have a genuine concern for the well being of others are those who have gone through similar experiences and have taken a step of faith to trust in God and allow Him to take control and address the problem. It is only when we have found redemption from our own shortcomings and make a decision to walk in active repentance, can we go out there and identify the shortcomings of others. But as I mentioned above, identifying shortcomings doesn’t cut it. Instead, we should go out of our way to help and care for that person in love.

The people around us are not art exhibits for us to critique and point fingers at. You, I and the people around us are living and breathing creations of God, meant for the great plans that God has set out for each one of us. Let’s take genuine interest in the well-being of those around us. If we truly love and care for someone, we would go out of our way to point them in the right direction when they take a wrong turn.

And for those of us who have our loved ones sharing advice and help with us, think for a moment if what we are receiving is helpful and genuine before we get angry and worked up. Quit jumping into conclusions that we are being judged unfairly. Who knows? That very person could be sharing advice that potentially could change our life forever.