We live in a judgmental world. It’s so common that there’s even a popular saying: “Judgy much?” There are judgmental people that immediately condemn others based on their clothes, financial status, race, religion, past choices, marital status, weight, physical features and more. Their ugly judgments ooze out in their words, attitudes and behavior. There are others that are not judgmental in the typical sense, but may find themselves being “judgy” in certain circumstances. People may say or do something that they do not agree with and just like that...a judgement is formed.
I have always said, “As crazy as my past has been, who am I to judge anyone?” I have always declared that I am not judgmental at all! Recently however, I have come to understand that being judgmental can also be an internal decision making process that forms a negative opinion of someone’s ideas and behaviors as well. Interesting…
Recently, I became acutely aware of how that can look. I was in a conversation with my friend about this Covid situation and we each landed on opposite sides of the fence about the mask laws and mandates. I respected her opinion but did not understand her reasoning behind some of the things she was saying. I wanted her to see things from my point of view but I could tell she was feeling very strongly and if I pressed, the conversation could possibly offend her and that was not worth it to me so I heard her out and moved on to another topic.
Later, I processed the conversation and my confusion of her opinion with my husband. As I was speaking, I heard my words and tone in my voice that immediately made me aware that I was being “judgy.” I love my friend. We have been friends for quite a few years now. Although this conversation would not have negatively impacted the future of our friendship, I was acutely aware of the fact that I was not internally responding to her opinion very well. Judgy much? Eeek.
I ultimately repented for my sin. I reminded myself that it is NOT my position to defend my opinion. My position IS to love my friend, even when our opinions don’t match. My position is to BE the love and light of Jesus Christ in all situations, not to form critical thoughts about others’ opinions or choices.
So I reminded myself why I love my friend. She is kind. She is funny. She is thoughtful. She is supportive of my dreams. She has a hysterical, contagious laugh. We have fun going out to eat and shopping together. She is a hard working woman, awesome momma and loving wife. I do not have to understand or agree with her opinion in this matter, and it’s ok. Her life, her opinion. And just like that… the judgment subsided.
When judgmental thoughts are formed in my sinful mind, I now remind myself of Romans 2:1, “You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.” We do the same things! I had an opinion just like she did. Who says my opinion was any less worthy of being judged harshly? And when we judge, "we condemn ourselves."
With that I am forced to consider:
Is there a difference between the super judgmental person listed at the beginning of this article and those who are simply judgy about other people's opinions? NO. The Bible says “judgment,” plain and simple. There are no levels or degrees of the sin of judgment.
There is SO much freedom in the gentle conviction from the Holy Spirit. I am grateful for the continued work God does in my life. I am and will continue to be a work in progress, as we all are. Today however, I pray that we can all start to see ourselves with a “sober mind” - not diluted with what has been made acceptable in the world around us but that we stay convicted to follow the example of the life Jesus modeled for us when he was on this earth. (1 Peter 1:13)