“She shouldn’t have done that.” “How could she think that?” “I can’t believe she actually went there!” “I would never do that...” Sound familiar? Anyone ever whispered phrases like that in your ear? Or, have you ever muttered them under your breath?
I’ve heard that kind of stuff and said that junk and thought it too! When it comes to being judgmental, I admit, I have blown it!
But, I don’t want to be a judgmental woman; I want to be a woman of good judgment.
So, what is the difference?
When we show good judgment, we are applying discernment.
Discernment sees right and wrong. Discernment is able to judge rightly.
When you are showing good judgment — when you discern something that isn’t quite right, it strikes a chord in your heart ... usually an out-of-tune, dissonant chord. It’s like smelling something stinky and wanting to sniff out the source. That is a spiritually mature impulse.
But, we can take that good impulse and turn it into bad behavior.
Just as quickly as a toddler goes from total contentment to a total meltdown, we can go from humble discernment to haughty judgementalism!
It’s all in how we handle the discernment.
Here are 4 ways to determine if you are being judgmental or showing good judgment:
1. Quick to elevate me
Do I feel better about myself because she is so much worse than I am?
If we observe someone’s brokenness and go straight to pride about our own apparent wholeness, then we are being judgmental. Knowing truth of Scripture and using it as a magnifying glass to point out what she is doing wrong so it can spotlight what we are doing right is a big red flag that we are in judging mode.