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Sunday, June 21, 2009

What Does It Mean To Be Judgmental?

I'm thinking about this question today...

12 comments:

TeriLynneU said...

For me, being judgmental is looking at someone through my eyes instead of the Father's. I can always see something to critique - the Father always sees someone He loves.

Rebekah said...

Wow. I think that TeriLynneU hit the nail on the head with that one! I totally agree.

Jacquie said...

This is a great question and it is ironic how this was the last topic discussed at my in-laws house today (which I just left 5 minutes ago, so this is still hot in my head) - and it can be so frustrating. I think this topic truly and ultimately is up to God to decide. However, God has already told us His truths on what is right and wrong through His Word. When you are just agreeing with His Word - does that mean you are judgemental? Because that is often what i get when I express an "opinion" that is different than someone else's. It is always - "that is not up to me to judge".

Perhaps this topic is "controversial" due to its polar opposite extremes that get expressed. "This is absolutely wrong." "This is absolutely one's choice and it's not up to me or you, whether it's wrong or right, for them." We live in a society that has given "tolerance" a new meaning. A society that wants us to "tolerate" abortion, homosexuality, divorce (in any case - if you are not "happy"), and even the newest trend - trans-gender sex changes - because we should not "judge" these people if they feel this is right for them.

God really is the ultimate Judge - thank you God, for that! But if His Word is clear on something, I will not be afraid to defend His Word. Not that He needs me to defend Him. And I know what you are probably thinking - that it depends on the "spirit" of how this opinion is discussed - which can be true for the most part. However, I find that I am more often defending this opinion of mine - that I get from God Himself - with other people who call themselves Christians who believe in the Bible. I don't understand that - but I do acknowledge how grateful I am that God has given me eyes to see His truths - not in all areas, He is still working in me and I still have much to learn.

Perhaps being judgemental is not so much determining what is right or wrong, God has already done that - but rather making your own conclusion that "this person is worse than I - how could they believe or feel something so obviously wrong?" - when we haven't walked in their shoes. We do not know their story. They may have a good reason why they think the way they do. Not that it is necessarily right, but their heart has been wounded in places that this may be all that is revealed to them. And only God can be the Judge of that situation, because he simply knows EVERYTHING about us, much more than we even know ourselves.

I always say that I can never say, "I would never do that." Because it is only by the grace of God that I am not a murderer, a prostitute or an alcoholic. I am no better than anyone who has committed these sins. I love that no sin is greater than another (except for a few sins God calls an abomination) and that He makes all of our sins White as Snow! So the real spirit of judgmentalism is when we lift ourselves above others - when we most certainly are not above anyone. If anything, we should consider ourselves filthy sinners who are only redeemed by God's grace and mercy. Thank you, Jesus, for these undeserved gifts.

Thanks for asking Sarah Mae. It felt good to process that and get it off of my chest. LOL. :)

Shelby said...

Wow, you ask the hard ones, don't you?

Judging is one of the least Christian things that I do and I do it, I am ashamed to say, all too frequently.

Simply put, for me it is overlaying my thoughts and opinions for morality and behavior on to other people. It doesn't matter whether I judge them to be great or to be failures; I am still judging. Not my place.

I heard something on the radio the other day that said something to the effect that rather than judge people if they are sinning in a given situation, we should cover them with love.

Like the Father did with us.

HeathahLee said...

Wow! I agree with Shelby...you ask the hard ones! AND I agree with Teri..."being judgemental is looking at someone through my eyes instead of the Father's."

It's so easy to do. After reading the book, TrueFaced, I have come to realize that everyone should be looked at through the eyes of grace...the same grace that has been bestowed upon me. Do I do that? Heavens, no. I wish I did.

Kelly's Ideas said...

What a great question! I think there is a different answer for different people. To me - judgmental is judging someone with human eyes not God's eyes...

Holly Rutchik said...

This question has been on my heart today. I can't find the answer, yet feel like it is a source of so many struggles. I am wondering what that means? Thanks for posting this!

christinnjon said...

I loved Jaquie's response.

I think of judging as determining in my own mind who "I believe" should go to heaven or hell. Like Jacquie stated, we don't know what it's like to walk in another's shoes. In fact, the phrase, "I will never do..." has come back to bite me, so I no longer say that either. We never know what situation we might find ourselves in at any given moment. We certainly hope for the best, but we live in a fallen world - yet serve a forgiving God, who throws our sins as far as the east is from the west.

We often forget this fact and believe we are the only ones under grace.

An old pastor made a good point when he said, "We judge ourselves by our intentions, but we judge other's by their actions."

Debbie said...

This is a good question! As Christians we are so often accused of being judgmental. Sometimes, it's because we are putting our own twist on God's Word and letting our personal standards overtake what God commands.

It's an easy defense mechanism for people to say I am "judgmental" when I say that - for example - homosexuality is sin. God says that - not me.

HOWEVER, my attitude and my demeanor when I say anything like that absolutely affect the way my words are heard. That's where I inject my imperfect judgment on someone else.

Wisdom for Today said...

I'm with TeriLynneU too. I think we put higher expectations on others sometimes than we do on ourselves. I think we need to check our thoughts often to make sure we are being encouragers and not judges. Looking forward to reading your thoughts on this topic:)

bluecottonmemory said...

Being judgemental is evaluation the value of someone by a set list of criteria we have set up, or our parents set up for us. It's not our job to judge! God will do that. It's our job to love unconditionally! I deal with this in my blog on friendship: http://bluecottonmemory.wordpress.com/2009/05/29/friendship-part-2-look-beyond-your-expectations/

Molly said...

Hey Sarah Mae! I'm always so encouraged by reading your blog. We actually are in a series right now at church on the sermon on the mount and how Jesus didn't come to say "live by these rules", but rather all of his instruction here goes back to the heart. But Jesus addresses the subject of judgment specifically in Matthew 7. We want others to judge as as "a whole" to consider the whole situation before they make a judgment about us. However it is all to easy for us to look at others and say "why don't they just ______?" Jesus said "do to others what you would have them do to you". This is quite different from just being kind to others but rather treating them AS YOU want to be treated. That steps it up! We need to see others as having worth just as Christ sees them.