“Do not judge, or you will be judged. For with the same judgment you pronounce, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Matthew 7:1-2
“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.”
One of the greatest hurdles to my spiritual growth has been the harsh judgment I’ve held against myself and others. I do my best to respect others so when others show disrespect, I tend to go into self-protection mode, (basically retreating behind the wall erected around my heart.)
I know this is not how Jesus lived and if I want to embody the heart of Christ, I must get over my justifications for allowing this wall to be formed in the first place.
This simple exercise is the quickest way to flip the negative script. It keeps my heart sober about my own failures and misgivings and reminds me of God’s patience and mercy towards me. I pray you receive freedom and breakthrough as you process through the garbage of your soul, extracting God’s gold from it.
Step One: Pick one person or circumstance weighing you down. Journal out all your thoughts, feelings and frustrations. Don’t hold back. It may look something like this:
“My sister is too bossy and demanding. She sends out prayer request like a take-out order and I don’t appreciate that she never asks me. She simply assumes and dumps. It’s very rude and it takes all the joy out of praying. It feels like I’m her prayer slave and pressure-release valve. She is not self-aware of how she comes across because she is so focused and determined to get her needs met, she only sees what she wants. She is too old not to ‘get it. She is clueless. She is stubborn and thinks her way is the right and good way and everyone else needs to get in line. She never asks if I’m the right person for the task, If I’ve been called to this role, if this is the proper time (for me). She never considers me. She only considers herself. She grips tightly to me and never gives me a choice. She demands.”
Step Two: After you’ve finished your emotional ‘dump’, go back and highlight (with a highlighter pen) all ‘judgement statements’.
Step Three: After highlighting all judgment statements, write them down in a numbered list:
- My sister is bossy and demanding.
- She is not self-aware.
- She is too old not to get it.
- She is clueless.
- She is stubborn and only considers herself.
- She believes she is always right.
Step Four: For every judgment you’ve made, reflect with the Lord if you’ve ever done these things. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you remember specific examples. For each judgment, write one specific example where you’ve done something similar.
- I’ve been bossy and demanding (to my mom, dad, husband and sister). So this makes me four times as bossy as her!
- When I’m consumed with a problem, I’ve been completely unaware of the damage I’ve inflicted to others. (My sister has shared I’ve hurt her with my callous, sarcastic snap backs.)
- I’ve been too old to not ‘get things’ I should know by this point in my life. (Improperly processing my feelings and dumping on my family.)
- When I’m stressed, I’ve been clueless as to how I’ve come across to others. I’m too focused on my problem to be concerned with what I inflict on others. (Example: Blowing up when I was angry about missing an event.)
- I’ve demanded my way and caused years of damage to myself and others with bad decisions made out of ignorance, rebellion and improper identity. (Example: Becoming an exotic dancer.)
- I’ve demanded my way and thought I was right only to discover I was wrong. (Example: Giving totally wrong directions to my husband when he was driving.)
Step Five: Next, write out a sincere repentance prayer from your heart. It may look something like this:
“Lord, forgive me for judging harshly. My heart was deceived, thinking I am better than the one I’ve judged. The truth is: I’ve done everything I’ve accused my sister of. Release me from these thoughts. Give me a fresh perspective and a new way of handling future interactions. Bless me to extend the same unlimited measures of mercy and kindness as you’ve given me. Lord, release me from the chains of judging others. In Jesus’ name amen.”