Why it’s easy to be judgmental

Being judgmental is about as attractive as a racist proudly gallivanting around your living room on a high horse.

But what does it mean, anyway?

If someone says you’re being judgmental, what they usually mean is that you’re acting morally superior—as if you’re always right, others are always wrong, and you’re a better person because of it.

It’s not the same as simply using judgment. Using judgment is good. That’s thinking through a situation, weighing the facts, and humbly sharing your wisdom, even if it puts you at odds with someone else.

Judgmentalism is different. It’s the person on the moral high horse who likes to look down their nose at you.

But do you know what? It’s easy for ALL of us to be judgmental from time to time. We may not always say judgmental things out loud, but we can certainly think them!

Here’s why it’s easy to slip into that mode of thought.

Always being “right” is easy. Always being thoughtful is not.

Basically, being judgmental means you never have to grow your thinking.

When you think you already know everything about someone else’s situation, and when you think you’re already an expert on most topics, and when you think you’ve never made any mistakes, you never have to look in the mirror.

Self-examination is hard. It means being honest about how much we don’t know. It means owning up to our own issues and mistakes. It also means taking that next best step to become a more mature, wise, loving, and humble human being.

I think that’s why Jesus said, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” (Matthew 7:3, NIV).

Planks have a way of obscuring vision. And self-examination. And maturity.

Remember the expression “Err on the side of caution”? I think we should modify it to this: “Err on the side of grace.”

With each new day, including today, let’s continue to grow as we take that next best step toward being the mature, wise, loving and humble human beings we were created to be.

By Matthew Ruttan

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