Willpower is not enough when it comes to defeating judgmentalism. You can’t “just do it” or “just say no.” Addressing judgmentalism, as dealing with any negative passion, is best dealt with indirectly. By engaging in a related activity you affect the activity that needs addressing. That’s the idea behind counting to 10 when anger arises. It’s not easier per se. However, it’s more effective.[featured-image single_newwindow=”false”]
These practices are only successful if engaged in the grace of God. As you participate in God’s grace while engaging these practices, you will find the ability and diligence to become more loving and less judgmental.
5 Practices to Help Defeat Judgmentalism
1. Repent: be constantly turning from your disobedience, lack of love, pride, insolence, scorn, hatred, condescension, disrespect, self-importance, conceit or whatever the sin might be. Bring your mind from these damaging places to Christ by quoting scripture or saying a prayer. End your day with this prayer of repentance:
O Lord our God, if I have sinned in anything this day, in word, or deed, or thought, forgive me all, for You are good and You love mankind. Grant me peaceful and undisturbed sleep, and deliver me from the assault and attack of the evil one. Rouse me at the proper time to glorify You, for blessed are You, together with Your only-begotten Son and Your All-holy Spirit, now and forever, and to the ages of ages. AMEN.
2. Give thanks: Here’s a step-by-step process, starting with the easier to the more difficult –
a. try not to complain – catch yourself when you are tempted to gripe about the weather, other’s actions, food, or circumstances.
b. give thanks for the good – make it a habit to say “thank you” for the beneficial and beautiful around you, even the small things
c. give thanks for all people and things – begin to give thanks for the people and objects that you don’t think are for your benefit
Recall the story of Jesus’ healing the 10 lepers – all were healed but only a despised Samaritan returned to say “Thank you.” Be the one. Don’t be like the nine.
3. Fast: We usually think of fasting related to food. However, you can also fast from speaking. “Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent and discerning if he holds his tongue” (Provers 17.28)
a. hold your tongue – refuse to be critical; stop giving your opinion on everything. Ask questions instead of your voicing your presumptions or speaking your mind.
b. keep silent – you don’t have to say anything
c. engage restraints on gateways to judging – For example, keep your eyes in check. I know one man who would take off his glasses in certain situations so he couldn’t see clearly, preventing him from thinking judgmental thoughts. How about your ears? Walk away from conversations or stop listening to talk shows that encourage you to be judgmental.
4. Slow down:
a. plan ahead – It’s easier to make off the cuff judgments when in a hurry or panic.
b. attend to situations – Be fully present, heart and mind, to people and situations. Your ability to discern properly (vs. being judgmental) will increase.
c. monitor your emotions – Be aware of what’s happening within you emotionally. If you sense a stirring within – anger, disgust, fear, contempt – be cautious about acting on the emotion. You may need to. However, pause long enough to make a good judgment.
5. Pray: There is not better way to defeat judgmentalism than to be in constant prayer. “Pray without ceasing” is more beneficial than you may think. Continually saying the Jesus Prayer: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner” brings you to Jesus constantly and reminds you of your need of mercy as a sinner. In that state of heart and mind, you will certainly be less judgmental.
Here’s your assignment. Go to the mall and try out these practices – observe without condemning; attend to situations; give thanks; keep silent; eyes: take off your glasses. Try to make no judgments as you say the Jesus Prayer. Walk around slowly. Struggle with your judgmentalism. OR try this at church next Sunday. See what happens to you.
Share what you discover below.