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I don’t know about you, but this last message convicted my heart. I think I need to hear this part again.
7 Signs We Are Being Judgmental by JD Greear
1. We are more enraged at someone else’s sin than our own
Dietrich Bonhoeffer said “One of the first signs of Christian maturity is to be frustrated by the hypocrisy in the church and a desire to separate from it. The next step is to realize that some of that hypocrisy in the church is present in oneself.” No matter how long you have been a Christian we all have blind spots. Those areas in us we need to work on should remind us to stay humble. Paul Tripp says “While we are blind to our own sin, other people have 20/20 vision. We’d be wise to do more listening than pointing fingers.”
2. We refuse to forgive (or when we forgive, we refuse to forget)
To refuse to forgive someone is to be intentionally ignorant of the enormity of what God has forgiven you. To forgive but not forget is a distinction without a difference. Forgiving means absorbing the debt and offering only love and goodness in return with no strings attached. Ephesians 4:32 says, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
3. We cut off those that disagree with us
This is the essence of judging. You say “we can’t have a relationship because we disagree about this issue.” One of the biggest betrayals in history is when Judas kissed Jesus in the garden. Jesus still called Judas friend. He still washed his feet knowing this moment was coming. Jesus modeled for us that we have to love the person we disagree with more than we love their agreement on a particular issue. We must remain committed to maintaining relationships with people that disagree with us.
4. We gossip
Gossip is judging because it condemns the person we are talking about. Instead of directly confronting someone like the Bible tells us to, we deny the ability to defend themselves and we write them off as flawed and worthy of our scorn. What is even worse we do all this without even letting that person know we are doing it. We aren’t offering a chance for restoration or change. We aren’t giving them the benefit of the doubt. We think we have “enough” evidence to condemn and judge them. This is especially true in the church. We are a family. If there is ever a situation that you have with someone in the church, the loving and right thing to do is go directly to that person not talk behind their back. The Biblically right thing to do is talk directly to the people you have an issue with. Every time. Face to face. Humbly and with love speaking the truth with grace.
5. We refuse to correct someone’s position
Ironically another way we can judge someone is by not telling them the truth because we feel like we know the outcome. You must trust God that if you do what He tells you to do, He will bless it. And you must give the benefit of the doubt that if you lovingly share with them the truth that they will listen! God has the power to change people’s minds, all we can do is be obedient.
6. We refuse to receive criticism
If you see yourself as more righteous than people you will not receive criticism. If you hate criticism it just might be because you think your position should be judge not defendant. We are all in the same boat. We are only sinners that are saved by grace. You and I have big flaws. We need to look at criticism and see if maybe that critic is right? And it’s ok to be wrong! You are not any less loved by the one that made you! You are desperately wicked but unbelievably loved. Not every critic is helpful. In fact, some are flat-out just hurtful. Take the meat and spit out the bones. Look if it’s true and if it is then change. If someone is just being hurtful and mean then understand that they must be struggling with something. Hurt people hurt people. But we are sinners and sometimes our critics are right.
7. We right off someone as hopeless
If we write people off as lost causes then we don’t understand the gospel. No sin is too big, no hole is too deep, no brokenness is past healing. As long as someone has breath, there is hope for the gospel of Jesus Christ to change them! We would have written off the murderous Pharisee Paul, but God didn’t. If they aren’t dead, God’s not done. The Gospel has the power to save anyone who believes. There is hope.
Won’t you pray with me, “God check our hearts. Do the hard work. Reveal my sin to me. God, if I am being judgmental help me to remember that apart from you I am nothing. Help me instead to have both grace and truth.”