Since I have done my fair share of judging others in my life, I was a little concerned when I arrived at Costco about what others would think. Would their judgments pierce my heart and create an uneasiness to do what was best for me? I have been on both ends of the spectrum. I know judging is problematic and it hurts not only those that judge but those that are judged.
I had arrived early to get that front row spot so I would not have to walk far. I only had to get through the door and to the electric carts. I pondered should I follow the doctor’s orders or should I push it for fear of what others would think?
I had the appearance of a healthy capable woman ready to shop. I was decked out in my gym clothes with a fancy step counter attached to my wrist. I probably even had the glow of a good workout just done.
I thought to myself, how many times before had I watched that person park in a handicap place and judged whether it was necessary? Have you done the same?
Now I was that woman! But this time I understood better than ever people have no idea what another person is dealing with in their lives.
Appearances do not tell the entire story.
Sure at first glance I looked like a prima donna riding her chariot throughout the store. However, if one took a closer look, they might notice that look in my eyes or hear the wincing as every step was taken. I had bone hitting bone where cartilage no longer resided.
If one took the time to ask me, they might understand that the pain went deeper than the physical discomfort. I was struggling. I had just lost my place where I found solace, rest, and GOD. A place I desperately needed to refuel me for the journey God had put me on.
You see, I love to ski and hike, and an unexpected ski accident was making it seem like that might be a thing of the past. For me, being in nature clears my mind, gives me perspective, and fills me with strength I never knew possible. I desperately needed to build myself back up so I could return.
Do you have a place like that?
So that step counter served not as a goal to reach for but a way to monitor when it was time to rest.
This was a new way of life and one I didn’t know how to do. I was trying my best to embrace a life event I had not expected. It required not pushing when it hurt. This method was foreign to me, as I had spent the last ten years fighting through the pain of children with mental illness. I was a fighter, not one that rests.
So as absurd as it may sound, I pondered in that parking lot would I let the fear of judging get in my way of what was best for me? I also set out to understand how judging hurts us and those we love.
Here are twelve reasons why – Judging is Problematic and Hurtful.
When we judge…….
1. We are usually wrong. Seriously, how could we possibly know the details of someone else’s life? What we see is only a small fraction of their story.
Our knowledge is limited which means our assessment is most likely incorrect.
2. It creates distance in relationships. Honestly, do you want to pull in close for a heart to heart when one person has deemed themselves right and the other wrong?
3. It keeps others and ourselves from doing what is best. When one fears judgment, they sometimes pull back from what is in their best interest.
4. We fail to accept people for who they are. We are so busy clinging to wanting them to be different we can’t enjoy who they are.
No one is free to be who he or she was meant to be.
5. It says more about the person unleashing the judgment than it does about the one judged. Have you ever noticed when someone is judging another they usually exhibit the same characteristics they are assessing?
6. We miss out on some pretty astounding relationships because we deemed them hopeless.
7. It increases everyone’s suffering.
8. It makes our emotions grow bigger, more negative, and we struggle to regulate them.
9. It is exhausting.
10. It keeps us further from our goals.
11. We have less peace and compassion for others and ourselves.
12. It keeps one focused on others perceived imperfections or sins, and we miss seeing our own.
Of course, we are called to discern from time to time as we make important decisions on how to live our lives. However, in most situations judging will be problematic and hurtful. It will do something inside of us that turns our focus on to the negative and imperfections of others and us.
If you missed last weeks post be sure to click here – Are you Judgmental?
I would love to hear your thoughts or experiences on how judging others has been problematic or hurtful to you?