How To Not Be Too Judgmental: 10 Christian Tips

by Crystal McDowell on October 9, 2013 · Print Print · Email Email

Christians are often accused of being too judgmental. It’s a fine line to cross because we must proclaim the truth even when it means we’re misunderstood as being too judgmental.

Yet at the same time, we can easily fall into the trap of judging people within and outside of the church unfairly. Pray through the 10 Christian tips of how to not be judgmental and choose to live out your life in gentleness with peace towards others.

Tip #1) Seek wisdom and discernment before you speak about sensitive issues.

Wisdom is found on the lips of the discerning” (Proverbs 10:13).

The easiest way to bring an offence is to speak before you seek wisdom from God. There’s a time to speak up and a time to be quiet. Wisdom gives you the insight of the best time for you. The Lord gives wisdom to all those who ask Him in faith.

Tip #2) Develop an awareness and sensitivity towards others who’ve made bad choices.

“Do to others what you would have them do to you” (Matthew 7:12).

People carry more guilt, shame, and regret inwardly than anyone could put on them. Being sensitive means that you’re recognizing God’s grace towards healing and restoration, not condemnation. It’s important to reflect on how you would want to be treated, if you were in that situation.

Christians are often accused of being too judgmental. It’s a fine line to cross because we must proclaim the truth even when it means we’re misunderstood as being too judgmental.

Christians are often accused of being too judgmental. It’s a fine line to cross because we must proclaim the truth even when it means we’re misunderstood as being too judgmental.

Tip #3) Resist the temptation to make quick opinions about people you know (or don’t know).

“Eli thought she was drunk and said to her, “How long are you going to stay drunk? Put away your wine” (1 Samuel 1:14).

Eli was quick to judge Hannah when she was doing the right thing. We have no idea of the reasons why people speak or act in the manner they do. It’s not our responsibility to make everyone appear righteous. God is more concerned with their hearts and that’s where He does His greatest work in man.

Tip #4) Accept the truth that only God knows everything about every person.

“Motives are weighed by the Lord” (Proverbs 16:2).

No matter how long a person has been in the Lord—they never stop learning more of Him. Only the Lord can see the hearts and minds of people to know their motives. We can only speculate based on their actions which may or may not reveal the true story.

Tip #5) Intercede for those who walk in darkness to come to the light of Christ.

“For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors” (Isaiah 53:12)

While we were still in our sinful ways, the Lord was making intercession for us. As believers, we are like Jesus when we pray for those who are lost rather than make judgments about them. God works a great love in our hearts when we intercede with many prayers and supplications for unbelievers.

Use these sample prayers: 5 Strong Prayers for the Lost

Tip #6) Be open-minded about the different ways people choose to worship God.

“True worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth” (John 4:23).

The body of Christ is much larger than any one local church. Many churches have an adopted style of worship that may not work for everyone. We can love one another and remain united in our determination to build the kingdom of God even if we don’t worship in the same manner.

Tip #7) Meditate on how Jesus interacted with the “sinners” during His earthly ministry.

“‘Then neither do I condemn you,’ Jesus declared. ‘Go now and leave your life of sin’” (John 8:11).

Jesus was accused for His insistence on connecting with sinners, tax collectors, and Gentiles. He remained focused on God’s will for His earthly ministry without missing opportunities to show love and kindness to those on the outside. We are His disciples when we interact with loving kindness and gentleness minus a judgmental attitude.

Tip #8) Respect the diversity within the body of Christ throughout the world.

“Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it” (1 Corinthians 12:27).

How boring the world would be if God created us to all look the same, act the same, and dress the same! The body of Christ is a beautiful, complex, and unique arrangement of believers from all walks of life, yet connected by one Spirit of God. We are all a part of the church regardless of our traditions, race, ethnicity, or any other differences—we are united in Jesus.

Tip #9) Understand the Biblical concept of speaking truth with a loving attitude.

“Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow” (Ephesians 4:15).

Speaking the truth in love (especially to someone who’s deceived by sin) will take much time and patience. If we get flustered and in hurry for someone to change, then we’re not really trusting in God to move in their hearts. A heart needs to be ready to receive truth.

For more on this topic: Speaking the Truth in Love: 7 Helpful Tips

Tip #10) Shine the light of Christ in such a way that people are drawn to Jesus and not driven away.

“For God…made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6).

The light of Jesus that shines from within us isn’t a piercing and judgmental glare, but rather a warm glow of His presence. When people sense your respect, sincerity, and gentleness, they will respond to Christ. Let the light of Jesus be the footprint you leave behind in any situation.

Judge not!

Being a hard-nosed judgmental person can hinder our ability to reach other people for Christ. In the end, it won’t matter if you win or lose an argument. Yet it will matter if your words, actions, and attitude leave a presence of peace or of pain on the hearers.

Related article: How Tolerant should a Christian be? Are Christians Judgmental?

Resources – New International Version Bible, The Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblca, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.



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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

DocReits October 13, 2013 at 12:19 am

Hi Crystal,

I appreciate your heart in admonishing us not to lord it over others with a judgmental spirit. I believe that is what Jesus was referring to when he said to take the beam out of our own eye before trying to remove the speck in our brother’s eye (Mt 7:1-5).

Having said that, there are certainly more verses in the NT about the duties of the saints to judge, especially to judge those who are saved than not judging (It is something like 62 vs 8 scriptural references difference). Here is a rather in depth study on the topic which should help.

Bottom line…It is actually more biblical to judge than not to judge. Hopefully that whetted your appetite to review the whole article in this link. Here is a taste:

“What we found was that any compulsion that the modern Church or modern Christians have to prohibit judging cannot be said to be based on God’s Word or a solid understanding of the scriptural perspective on this topic. Instead, far from prohibiting judging, the Bible instructs us how to judge and what to judge. This being the case it must be that Christians who prohibit judging are merely reflecting the influence of the ungodly culture around us.

In completing our Biblical survey on judging we have found that there are approximately 70 passages in the New Testament that address the issue. Of these only a small fraction (less than a dozen) actually contain any language limiting judging in any manner. The remaining 60 plus passages provide an overwhelming and unavoidable message from God’s word that, contrary to the wishes of our culture, Christians are to judge both people as well as behaviors and beliefs with the only following exceptions:

1. We are not to be angry without cause.
2. We are not to judge one another for whether or not we continue to practice Jewish feasts or Jewish dietary laws.
3. We are not to place final judgment on someone – in terms of salvation or damnation/condemnation.
4. We are not to judge who will be rewarded with a greater position in the kingdom of God.
5. We are not to judge those outside the church, except to judge them as outside the church.
6. We are not to judge hastily, improperly, or presumptuously, and without first examining ourselves.
7. We are not to judge according to appearance, but according to God’s standard of righteousness. ”

http://www.biblestudying.net/judging2.html

Unfortunately the world (our culture) has so cowed Christians with this “Don’t Judge” mantra that we have become marginalized and ineffective in crying out against the ills of our age…(vis Gay Marriage, Abortion, Euthanasia, etc.)

Blessings,

DocReits

Reply

Crystal McDowell October 26, 2013 at 9:56 am

Dear DocReits,

I appreciate very much your point about being careful with teachings on being judgmental. You’re correct in that we must take care in how we approach the issue of being judicious versus judgmental. I think the scope of this article was focusing on the subject within the body of believers and not necessarily from a world view of judging others. I believe an article on “How to be Judgmental” would address your comments. Have a blessed day in the Lord and again thanks! Your sister in Christ, Crystal

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