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The Damaging Effects of Judging Others

“How rarely we weigh our neighbor in the same balance in which we weigh ourselves.”

Thomas a Kempis

Last week’s post was about the enemy’s schemes to destroy us through deception, confusion, division, fear, control, and self-protection. This week’s post includes another strategy from the enemy – to get us to judge one another so we reap the damaging effects. “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” (Matthew 7:1-2).

Judging others prevents us from having close relationships. Each accusation, jealous or envious thought, arrogance, and competition are all like relational wedges which separate or divide us. Each judgment we make causes a larger gap in our friendships. The more judgments made, the farther away we are in proximity of heart and relationship.

Our judgment of others closes ourselves off from our relationships. It’s as if we’re erecting a high, impenetrable wall keeping people out of our hearts. Being judgmental is a form of self-protection, a way to keep a safe distance from others. We shut ourselves off from receiving from them and they in turn can’t receive from us. In essence when we judge others, we’re saying we don’t accept them as they are. Having judgments is one of the fastest ways to shut down intimacy.

God has created us uniquely different from one another, which is a good thing. Being different doesn’t deserve judgment. It just means they’re not like us. The sooner we move away from judgments to a place of acceptance and the sooner we see the differences as something beautiful, the sooner our relationships will become restored and more intimate.

Acceptance is the solution to judgments. When we accept others as they are, in the same way we want to be accepted, it frees them to be who God created them to be with intimacy being the result. Humbling ourselves and repenting of our judgments are ways we bridge the gap in our strained relationships.

“Anybody who has once been horrified by the dreadfulness of his own sin that nailed Jesus to the cross will no longer be horrified by even the rankest sins of a brother.”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Relevant Reflections:

  1. What damaging effects of judgmentalism have you experienced?

  2. Ask God to show you what judgments you’ve made against others.

  3. Repent of your judgment and begin to accept others as you desire to be accepted.

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