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Becoming Free from Judgment

“Judging others makes us blind, whereas love is illuminating.”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Last week I wrote about shame. Our knee-jerk reaction to shame is to hide from others, to protect ourselves from reaping judgment and more shame. We hide our shame by blaming others, which takes the focus off ourselves and places it on another person. We see this destroying relational connection in Genesis chapter three during the Fall. Blame is a form of judgment and prevents us from having the kind of relationships God desires us to have.

In Matthew 7:1-2, God instructs us not to judge, because we will be judged by the same standard in which we judge others. “For in passing judgment on another, you condemn yourself...” (Romans 2:1b). Blaming and judging others is a way we conceal our shame, but that very act of protection ends up causing us more shame as that judgment comes back on us.

One of my primary desires is to have a deep connection with others; to have intimacy. But when I pass judgment on others, even if it’s only in the thoughts of my mind, I am shooting myself in the foot. Judgments disrupt our trust and set us up to no longer receive from that person what they have to offer us. Our critical and judgmental thoughts erect an invisible wall as if we’re saying, “I will no longer receive from you.” We think we’re taking care of and protecting ourselves, but we’re cutting off what God wants to give to us through that relationship.

Judgments thwart our relationships. I prevent the very thing I desire, an intimate relationship, because of my judgments against that person. I’m the one hindering a close connection with another person by the critical thoughts within my head. If I first deal with the hurt, the shame within me, and let go of my judgments through repentance, then I will gain the kind of relationships I have always wanted. Judgments are the enemy’s scheme, his device for destruction, which causes division and keeps us disconnected from one another.

Father, show me my judgments so I may repent. I want to live in a ‘judgment-free zone’ allowing nothing to get in the way of my intimacy with You and with others.

“By judging others, we blind ourselves to our own evil and to the grace which others are just as entitled to as we are.”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Relevant Reflection:

Describe a time when your unspoken judgments prevented you from having a deep relationship.

Image by jpornelasadv from Pixabay


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