Judgmentalism: The #1 Obstacle To Our Relationship With Others

Keith KettenringChristian Living, The Uncommon Journey

Boyd grew up in a family and a church where it was extremely important to live by deep convictions and articulated judgments. In this world, knowing and taking a stand against wrong doctrine, compromising groups, and immoral people was a mark of Christian maturity. It was vitally important to identify and fight the “enemy” especially those who did not “believe the Bible.”

As a child he was not allowed to attend Daily Vacation Bible School at the Methodist church. His parents even frowned on him playing with the Roman Catholic kids three houses down the block. In 10th grade, when he came home smelling like cigarette smoke, he was grounded for a month. He could forget attending the prom or any school dances. Those things were “worldly.” 

In his adulthood, Boyd learned to rationalize his judgmentalism by quoting Bible verses and by convincing himself that he had the corner on truth. He didn’t share all of his parent’s “convictions.” However, he knew what he believed and enjoyed telling others how right he was especially when trying to win arguments. He proudly held to his principles against those he thought were cheaters, liars, rule breakers, and compromisers. He had zero tolerance for “apostates,” “sinners,” or “liberals.” He was right. That’s what mattered. As a one-man truth squad, “truthiness” was his to determine.  

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Boldly Going Where Few Have Gone Before

Let me make a bold statement: the #1 way your relationship with others is messed up is the way you judge them. You think you know the truth about them. You are, to some extent, Boyd.

I promise you. I know what I’m talking about. And, I think you know that I know what I’m talking about. I’ve got lots of experience in this arena. In fact, I probably have the spiritual gift of right judgment. But, I’m pretty sure, I’m no Boyd. That boy is over the top. I’m not like that. 

But Wait…

Aren’t we suppose to know the truth and contend for the faith? We certainly can’t accept every idea that comes down the pike. We can’t believe every person who tries to persuade us. We have to be able to discern truth from error, fact from falsehood, right from wrong. Awww. Boyd would be proud of you.

So, what’s a person to do? You don’t want to be a Boyd. Yet, you must know the truth and love people. Really? How does that happen?

I’ve been seriously concerned about my own judgmentalism for the past couple decades. (sarcasm alert!) Not bad considering I’ve been a “Christian” for over 55 years. Good grief! Obviously, I’m no expert. I’ve had way more failures than successes. 

We judge others. But our real/basic issue is that we struggle to love people with God’s love. Bottom line: to the extent we experience God’s love we know how to love others and keep our judgmentalism in check. 

So, for the next few weeks, I’d like to mess around with judgmentalism on The UnCommon Journey. You may not have the difficulty that I have. But maybe writing about it will help you and me come to grips with judgmentalism’s reality in our lives and what to do about it. 

If you don’t have a problem with judgmentalism, you probably know someone who does. Send them this link or share these posts with them. By judging their judgmentalism and doing something about it, you will feel better when judging yourself. 

Any thoughts? Share below.
Dr. K