Here Is A Much Needed & Often Missed (Or Dismissed) Call To Battle

Keith KettenringChristian Living, The Uncommon Journey

Boyd “needs” to go shopping with his wife. They hit the breakfast buffet at Bob’s Big Boy and arrive at the mall as the doors open. By 11:00 he’s done. He slumps down on the bench outside the shoe store while Angie browses footwear. As he watches the pathetic display of humanity parade before him, his judgmental mind goes ballistic. “Dude, showing your boxers doesn’t make you a man.” “Little missy, did your momma really say that outfit was flattering?” “Shut the kid up. Are you deaf?” “Hey towel-head, go home! I mean all the way home.” “Pedro, you’re in America. Speak English!” “Get a room!” “Get a gym membership!” “Get a life!” “Well ain’t that special. Three rednecks all in a row.” He was cracking himself up. “Am I the only normal person left on the planet?” he wonders. When Angie meets him with two boxes of shoes, he can’t help himself. “What! 32 pair in your closet’s not enough?” 

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You are certainly no Boyd, right? But, have you ever given someone a name based only on their appearance or conduct? Stupid! Idiot! Lazy! Bimbo! Fatso! Jerk! Loser! Blind! Clueless! Dumb-*ss! Slut! Sucker! Moron! Cheater! Hater! Sinner! 

Enough of that! Too convicting, I’m afraid.

Deal With It! 

Here’s my point about judgmentalism today – If you don’t deal with it when you can, you’ll get to the point where you can’t deal with it at all. Perhaps you know bitter older people who seem to have no control over their tongues. Scary! You don’t want to be like that. Battle it now! 

Being judgmental is serious business. Not only is it acting in disobedience to Christ’s command (Matthew 7.1-5), it violates all that He is since God is love.   

That’s the real danger. Judgmentalism is loveless. You cannot be judgmental and be loving at the same time. They are incompatible. The room of your heart can only have one occupant. You cannot serve both love and judgmentalism. You can keep trying to prove Jesus wrong, but you’ll end up the loser. 

You call yourself a Christian? Then you need to go to war with your judgmentalism. It is not your friend. It is of the enemy. It wants to defeat you. You must defeat it. 

Ancient spiritual writers speak of “passions” – unnatural forces that dominate our souls and minds; deceitful desires that seek to control our natural longing for God or reception of divine grace. Among these passions are anger, dejection, self-esteem, pride, and vainglory. These passions are the driving force behind judgmentalism. In other words, judgmentalism is a symptom of dangerous realities lying deep within. I say this not to give you an excuse  – “that’s just who I am” – but to alarm you to the serious battle you are in.

Do not take your judgmentalism lightly. Now is the time to do battle.  

A story from the Dessert Fathers helps illustrate this challenge: 

A young monk sadly said the following to the holy Poison: “My body, Abba, has been weakened by ascetic practices, but my passions do not yield.” “The passions, my child,” answered the wise Father, “are similar to tough thorns; in uprooting them, your hands of necessity bleed.” 

An Invitation To Battle 

Here’s what you can do today. Take account of how often you make judgments of others based on their appearance and/or behavior. At work, while shopping, while driving, while at home, while at church, monitor your thoughts about others. Don’t try to do anything with those thoughts at this time. Raise your awareness of your judgmentalism over the next few days. How prevalent is it in your life? You need to enter the battle with your eyes wide open. 

Share below how this goes for you, if you are courageous enough…

Dr. K