Living Free From Your Judgments

Living Free From Your Judgments

A lot of people find themselves confused when it comes to the topic of judgment.

Are we to judge or not?

I personally believe there are few things as damaging to us as choosing to judge others. Throughout the scriptures we hear that in judging others we bring judgment upon ourselves.

In fact one of our favourite “offering” passages is not about money but about how our judgments will backfire on us.

“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
Luke 6:37-38

Judgment vs Observation

There is a big difference between judgment and observation.

Observation simply observes the things that people are doing.

Judgment requires us to then presume to know why they are doing them.

There is nothing judgmental about observing something that is clearly unfolding before our eyes.

The danger is that we then jump into judgment when we assume we know why people do the things they do.

Why is this so dangerous? Because we see and interact with the world through our own personal lens.

The problem is nobody else does. They are all busy seeing and interacting with he world through theirs.

This means that when others do something they shouldn’t – or maybe they do something that hurts us – we tend to filter it through our experience of it and not theirs.

We ultimately create a reality that isn’t true. And then have to live under the burden of that reality.

An example

Imagine one day you wake up and think “I’m going to encourage my pastor”. You decide to post a nice encouraging word on their Facebook. Days pass and there is no reply – they’ve replied to some other things but not yours.

Then on Sunday when they come walking down the aisle at Church you smile and say “hi pastor” only to be completely ignored! They just keep walking down the aisle to the front.

What are you to think?

This is where we need to ask will we judge or observe?

Judgment

Judgment starts evaluating everything based on assumptions. Based on our experience of the event rather than what actually happened.

Judgment starts to say “the pastor doesn’t like me” or “the pastor doesn’t have time for someone like me” or any other number of things.

In this we find that we start to live under our judgment of the other person.

By judging the pastor we start to experience separation and distance. But this reality is one we have created because we actually have no idea what is going on!

Observation

If we choose not to judge the pastor’s actions but rather just observe what we know we realise we don’t know much.

We know they didn’t reply to us on Facebook and walked past us in Church without acknowledging us.

Any number of things could explain those facts.

Instead of creating a reality that is mostly likely completely untrue at the end of the service you might try connect with the pastor. Perhaps you ask “hey did you get my message this week on Facebook? I just wanted to encourage you with how great a job you are doing.”

The pastor might turn around and say, “sorry I didn’t reply but I was having a very busy day dealing with some very difficult things. Actually – your message was such a gift from God as it gave me the encouragement to keep going.”

In the rest of your conversation you find out that the pastor only had 3hrs sleep the night before. He had been called out to hospital to minister to a family whose son had just been in a fatal accident.

Perhaps that is a more likely explanation as to why he didn’t notice you when he came in that morning.

Other people aren’t thinking about you 24/7

Observation at it’s core recognises that people are living primarily thinking about their own lives… not yours! (Sorry if that’s come as a shock to you!)

It recognises that when you make everything about you then you totally miss the point.

99/100 times when someone wrongs me it was never about me!

They weren’t even thinking about me!

I just caught in the crossfire of them being wrapped up in their own lives.

But when I choose to judge why they did what they did, I tend to assume it was all about me!

In judging I create my own little reality and then it is poured back upon me, shaken down and pressed together.

I live under the burden of my judgment.

Maybe it’s just me, maybe I’m preaching to myself. But hopefully it’s made you think…

Am I living unnecessarily under my own judgments and can I make a shift in the way I see the actions of others to free myself from those judgments?

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9 Comments

  1. Another wake-up call…It’s good to have you back.
    Although,there is Someone..Who thinks of me 24/7..and He all I need.
    Blessings,brother

  2. Great article Phil!
    I get concerned about many who judge others over what they perceive to be doctrinal error! Some comments can be quite cruel. Perhaps you could give your thoughts on that sometime.

  3. Hi Phil When you say things like “let’s love unconditionally” that is very encouraging. However when you talk about The ” cycle of deception” and imply the whole church is engaged in it re your recent post, that is far more than a mere observation. You are absolutely basing that on you assumptions and you own experience and it is a judgement no matter how you dress it up. I disagree with you on some things but you also post some great stuff. It is a pity that in a post that could be very encouraging you tie it to accusations about deception. I pray for you brother because I recognise you have a heart after God . Perhaps instead sweeping al inclusive statements you could say “some churches enage in deception or abuse”. Otherwise it comes a across as being anti church. I believe that Jesus loves his church even with all our faults and failing.. The problem with feedback like mine is you cannot hear the tone of voice or read the body language. I can assure you I mean no disrespect to you personally I love you in The Lord even though I disagree with you on some things

  4. Wow Phil. This was a timely message. Definitely got me thinking and I look forward to the challenge. This is one way God is and will continue to renew my mind! Glad to have you back. Still praying for you :)

  5. Interesting use of the word judgment. The word I would have used would have been concluded. But you bring a good point. You elaborated well so that I understood. Understanding is so important & questions are a way to gain more of it – as you pointed out with the pastor situation. I came across the blog Beliefs of the Heart where I learned a new quote that I love – “Questions are the tools of the explorer”. Since the process that changed me while writing my book I now love questions. They truly are what that quote says. I have become more of an observer & your article here just encourages me to continue. Thank you Phil for sharing.

  6. 1 Corinthians 5-7 says we are supposed to judge those inside the church, with the stipulation that we are to do it without hypocrisy.

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