As much as we’d love to say we’ve never judged anyone, having a judgmental heart is a struggle for most of us. I jump to conclusions about the character of the person who cut me off in traffic or I’m hypercritical of those closest to me. If you’re having trouble overcoming a judgmental mindset, try thinking of the word DUAL—for Don’t judge, Understand, Accept, and Love.
The Bible tells us the mouth speaks what the heart is full of (Luke 6:45). What in your heart could be triggering a judgmental attitude? Prayerfully ask God to reveal the answers to these questions:
- Is criticizing others a mask for my own insecurities, jealousy, or envy?
- Am I guilty of the same things I’m passing judgment on?
- Am I holding people (or myself) to an unrealistic standard?
- Do I have an inaccurate view of how God sees me? (For example, do you believe God is constantly judging you?)
Try to understand people and their circumstances before saying anything.
“Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly.” John 7:24 NIV
Be open to the idea that your perspective doesn’t show you the entire picture. Seek understanding from the person and from the Holy Spirit.
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. James 1:5 NIV
- Have I given the person a chance to share their perspective?
- Have I done the very same things?
- What questions should I ask before drawing a conclusion?
The more you understand, the less likely you are to judge.
Accept that you can’t change people or control everything. Accept that the only person you can control is yourself. Accept that you don’t have all the answers. Accept that God is working in everyone’s life for the better–yours included.
- Six months from now, will this really matter?
- Is God trying to teach me something through this situation?
- What makes it difficult for me to accept this and let it go?
God loves all of us, His children, deeply. The best way to combat a judgmental heart is to embrace God’s love and love as He would. The world needs your love and kindness more than it needs your opinion.
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35 NIV
- How has God demonstrated His love in my life?
- What are ways I can extend the same love, patience, and grace God has given me?
- How can I respond in a way that builds a person up rather than tears them down?
As you judge less and love more, watch how God transforms your heart, your relationships with others, and your relationship with Him!