What Keeps Us from God? Judgment from Others

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Sometimes people try to play the part of God in our lives.

Other times we assign people the part of God in our lives.

Judgment crushes our sense of self worth and can throw us into a tail spin. I know some bloggers who are no longer “bloggers” for the Christian world because they didn’t want to have so much judgment dumped onto them.

When a prominent Christian marriage expert and author told me I was selfish and inconsiderate toward my wife because I continued to pursue a writing career, I spent days stewing on his condemnation. And being perfectly honest, I really hated him until I could let go and forgive him. I’m over it, but let me tell you, I avoid that guy like the plague because judgment is a plague.

Judgment is also infuriating. It undermines what God has spoken into our lives, attacks our sense of self worth, and leaves us in an isolating anger. When someone judges me, I can only see my own life and that other person. I want to justify myself and I want to prove that other person wrong. Better yet, I want to invalidate and discredit the other person.

I want to attack.

I want to win.

This is a vicious cycle that will only break us further.

If I sit with judgment by myself too long, misery will follow. I won’t come to God for any number of reasons: I’m not in the mood, I’m not “God” material, etc.

I have found over and over again, especially with mean online comments, that I have to keep prying my hands off the situation. There are a hundred things that are better for me, and for everyone really, but I don’t want to believe it.

Rather than praising myself as an empty attempt at self-justification, focusing on the worship of God alone will restore my priorities. Better yet, the affirmation that comes from God is more powerful than any judgment.

Rather than tearing down others, I can pray that whatever wounds in their lives lead them to judgment will be healed and restored completely. Perhaps one day they will be encouragers who speak words of life or prayer warriors who speak on behalf of others to God rather than thinking they speak for God.

Worse yet, if we stew in enough judgment, it will start to infect us. The only cure is the unconditional acceptance of God. Only until we believe we are accepted by God will we have any hope in defeating judgment with faith, hope, and love.

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5 thoughts on “What Keeps Us from God? Judgment from Others

  1. Brenna D (@chicagomama)

    “I can pray that whatever wounds in their lives lead them to judgment will be healed and restored completely. Perhaps one day they will be encouragers who speak words of life or prayer warriors who speak on behalf of others to God rather than thinking they speak for God.”

    This was great, Ed. I know that judgment is so painful for me, partly because, at one time, I was one of those obnoxious people who made the judgment (I was told that I needed to use my gift of discernment….but that’s another story…)

    I find myself haunted by judgment heaped on me and judgment I’ve heaped on others in the past. Your hope/prayer for others I will now pray for myself, that the words I have wasted hurting others can be redeemed and used to encourage others going forward.

    1. ed Post author

      Thanks Brenna! I’m so glad that resonated. I can’t help wondering if those who judge are actually gifted with discernment or some kind of prophetic gifting, but judgment is the dark side of that gift. I write that because I think I see that in myself!

      1. Brenna D (@chicagomama)

        I absolutely think that is true. The line between the two at the time seems so blurred and so small. Looking back I want to smack myself across the face. Judgement is definitely the “dark side” of the gift. I have found that the only ones who are able to use their discernment effectively are ones who use it in conjunction with mercy and wisdom. Without those, it can quickly become a hot mess.

        What made it even harder for me, is that at the time I was part of a Pentecostal denomination that valued being “bold.” It wasn’t enough to give a word or make a statement…it had to be done with “authority” and “boldness” which really just translated into throwing grace out the window.

  2. Ann van Wijgerden

    THANK YOU Ed! You wouldn’t believe how relevant this is!!! We feel under a bizarre barrage of judgement right now and the temptation to return the fire is ginormous. What you’ve written is a wonderful reminder to put down our weapons… Thanks again!

  3. jeanElane

    “if we stew in enough judgment, it will start to infect us. The only cure is the unconditional acceptance of God. Only until we believe we are accepted by God will we have any hope in defeating judgment with faith, hope, and love.”

    You have put into words what I have seen in reality. I can make what I consider an innocuous comment to a Yahoo News story, for instance. I am so much attacked. I used to, no – still do, want to attack back. I get to the point of writing out my response to the nonsense. Then I realize how stupid it is to respond to nonsense. So I get out of there. Slowly, I am realizing that it isn’t worth it.

    Part of today’s Proverb of the Day says, “Do not speak to fools, for they will scorn your prudent words.” Proverbs 23:9

    We can know if someone’s reaction to what we have written or said is a real attempt at communication or just Satan trying to bring us down. If all we say and write reflects the faith, hope, and love that we have in/for our God, that is all that matters. Over time, as we mature in our faith, what we communicate and how we communicate, shows that maturity.

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