The Emotional Dangers of Judging and How to Stop
Do you find yourself often judging others and criticizing them? Are you also critical of yourself? You may have formed a habit of judgmental thinking that you didn’t realize you had.
Judging is a common issue and can have negative emotional consequences. Although some level of criticism is normal, frequently judging others or yourself can lead you down the path of negativity, suffering, and misery.
Learn the emotional effects of judging:
You decrease your own happiness. Judging usually involves negative emotions. You focus on the negative qualities you see in others and yourself. You miss out on the positive aspects.
This leads to dissatisfaction with the world, your life, your friends, and other things.
You hurt others, and harm yourself in the process. Because of the negative feelings you cause when you judge or criticize, you can destroy friendships and relationships. You can sabotage connections at work or other places. Life can become very difficult.
You become more critical of yourself. One of the worst negative emotional effects of a judgmental mindset is that you criticize yourself as well as others. Your self-talk becomes very negative as you mentally beat yourself up, and your self-confidence plummets.
Tips to Avoid Judging
If you’re struggling with a judgmental mindset, take heart! Whether you’re criticizing another person or feeling bad about yourself, you can break the cycle. You don’t have to remain in the pain that it causes.
Use this process to avoid judging yourself and others:
Instead of jumping to negative conclusions, look for positive qualities.
1 Peter 3:8 NIV 8 Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble
For example, you may be critical of someone who eats a lot of junk food and struggles to lose weight. You may feel this person isn’t leading a healthy life, and you know some simple changes can help them. However, you aren’t aware of the real reason they eat, such as emotional issues or years of abuse.
When you find yourself being critical, remember that you don’t know their story. Give them the benefit of the doubt. They may have perfectly valid reasons for their thoughts or actions.
1 Samuel 16:7 ESV But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”
Practice acceptance. Everyone has faults, idiosyncrasies, and issues. Learn to accept these challenges you see in others without judging them or making them feel bad.
Work toward accepting your own faults as well. Perfectionism is overrated and unachievable. Errors can teach you more than success.
Acceptance can lead you to sympathy and empathy. It can also open up the doors for you to truly connect with others. Practice acceptance and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the results!
Colossians 3:12-14. NIV
12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Judging makes life more difficult and interferes with your well-being. You end up creating pain and suffering that isn’t necessary. You miss out on the good and positive qualities in others and in yourself.
Alternatively, you can turn on joy in your life when you take steps to become more accepting!
Once you learn to recognize a critical thought as soon as it happens, counteract the negative thought with a positive one.
2 Corinthians 10:3-6 The Message 3-6 The world is unprincipled. It’s dog-eat-dog out there! The world doesn’t fight fair. But we don’t live or fight our battles that way—never have and never will. The tools of our trade aren’t for marketing or manipulation, but they are for demolishing that entire massively corrupt culture. We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ. Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity.
Remind yourself that you can’t see the whole story. No one can see into another person’s soul and read their past! In fact, you most likely don’t know why they think or behave the way that they do.
I hope today spoke to your heart and that you have found some truths you can carry with you for the rest of your life. It’s not easy to get out of the habit of judging that’s for sure. I wish I could say I have achieved it.. I’m a work in progress for sure!! One thing is for sure….There is a way and there is a hope and most assuredly life…even when we may doubt, there is hope.
Before we go today I want to share another great scripture with you from the Bible and remember as Paul said to us from God’s heart in Philippians 4:6-9 The Message
6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. 9 Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.
And that He surely will my friends. The choice is yours. Judging stops when we make a decision to stop it, we just need to discipline ourselves to hold faithful the truth of God’s Word! That being said…. Don’t give in, don’t give up and never forget