Why Is Judging Others A Problem For Us?

March 16, 2017

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.  Judging others is problematic, and it hurts not only those that judge but those that are judged.

My arrival was early to assure the front row spot so I would not have to walk far.  The electric carts were just beyond the entrance.  I pondered should I follow the doctor’s orders or push it for fear of what others would think?

With the appearance of a healthy capable woman, decked out in gym clothes and a fancy step counter attached to my wrist.  I looked ready to shop.  Most likely I still 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?

34 Comments

  1. Reply

    Erin @ burdenfreecaregiving.com

    Good morning, Maree! I am your neighbor at Christian Blogger Linkup #33 today. Your post hit home to me from both sides- I have wondered about people in wheelchair parking spots and I have needed the wheelchair. People who have never had daily pain do not understand. My favorite questions, from onlookers, are: 1) Why can’t you do ………..? 2) What is wrong with you? You look fine!
    Isn’t God good to allow these moments in life, where we now become more sympathetic and less judgmental? Just when we feel like we are growing in grace, God shows us new areas we need to work on. I praise Him for His love and kindness!

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Hi Neighbor, What you said is so true, until we have the pain we can not fully understand. If we could just keep this in mind, it would cut down on our judgments. That is so true about how God shows us new areas we need work. Sometimes that discourages me. I feel like I will never quite get it. Blessings, Maree

  2. Reply

    Michele Morin

    Maree, I’m thankful for your sound mind arguments against snap judgments. This is a real area of weakness for me. Your words have hit their mark.

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Michele, You are not alone in making snap judgments. I think we all do it from time to time. Glad my words hit their mark. Maree

  3. Reply

    Aimee Imbeau

    Hi, Maree. Judging others is certainly not a healthy practice for us to indulge in…and I think that is the key…stopping the indulgence and repenting at the first bit of judgement instead of allowing it to takeover our thoughts, which ends up turning into our outward behavior and actions. Every thought must be taken captive under the authority of Christ. Thanks for linking up with Grace and Truth.

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Aimee – I agree, judging others is not a healthy practice. I know for me learning to recognize the judging right away helps me to stop. Maree

  4. Reply

    sarahgirl3

    This is eye opening to so many of us. We know not to judge yet we tend to do it in a split second. You are right, it only causes pain!
    Prayers sent for your healing!

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Sarah,

      You are so right we judge so quickly without even realizing it until it is too late.

      Thank you for your prayers, I appreciate them. My accident was a few years ago, but I need always to be strengthening it.

      Hope you have a great weekend,

      Maree

  5. Reply

    lauradavis2013

    Marcy, for a minute there I thought you were writing about me! I am that woman who has to use a scooter every day of her life. In fact, I’ve been using a scooter for over five years now and I still feel that uncomfortable feeling like I’m being judged. But no one knows that I have an incurable disease that is shutting down my lymphatic system and it has puffed me up to huge proportions all over my body so that I look fat. In reality this disease has left me with huge sections of my body that have congested tissue that is so hard and big I can no longer lug it around. I got it all cut off once to see if I could be better mobile, but the doctors damaged my lymphatic system even futher and so it spread to my arms and stomach (not just my legs) and my legs got bigger than they were before. It’s like carrying around 10 lb rock hard bowling balls on my legs and it has worn out my knees (I’m bone on bone in both). Still, I find myself in defense mode everytime I go out. I still haven’t got over that feeling that I have to explain myself to strangers. I never imagined that I would be using one of these things BEFORE my 88 year old father. Now that’s embarrassing! But if it’s taught me anything, it is to have compassion on everyone I meet because you do not know the burdens they carry.

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Laura, First off thank you for sharing your story. I am so sorry that you have been given this cross to bear. It sounds painful and uncomfortable on many levels. You have reminded me in a big way that we have no idea the burdens someone carries.

      As I send this, I am praying for you. That God blesses you today and every day,

      I have no doubt God uses your pain for good. I am sure it has taught you compassion, and that compassion spill over to all of us in your writing. Thank you.

      Blessings,

      Maree

  6. Reply

    sherrylynnstahl

    Maree,
    That was an uncomfortable read. Thanks for sharing this powerful truth with us. Many times I recognize my judgements are wrong after I make them. The problem is compounded when I’ve shared my judgement out loud. I appreciate SO much your vulnerability and wisdom in this post.
    Praying for God to touch your body, bringing health and wholeness. May you continue to allow Him to use every step in your life to bring glory to Him. I ask the Lord to increase the reach of your writing and the effects of your ministry.
    ~Sherry Stahl
    xoxo

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Sherry,

      My heart is so touched by your prayer. Thank you!!! It was as if you knew exactly what I was praying for. I absolutely want to bring God glory through my ministry.

      Oh, yes the problems are compounded when shared out loud.Sometimes as soon as they leave my mouth, I wish I could reach out and grab them. I find even thinking them is problematic for me. I am such a rule follower, and my husband is not so I can easily get caught up in judgments. I am a work in progress.

      Praying for you too as I send this. I love your blog; your posts resonate with me.

      Blessings,

      Maree

  7. Reply

    Dawn Boyer

    Coming here has been such a soul filling time for me Maree Dee. You are a kindred spirit to my heart and I am grateful for your words, for your honesty and your reminder to love others as He does. Praying for your healing, peace, and redemption from pain.
    Bless you!
    Dawn

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Dawn,

      You have made my day by saying my website is soul-filling to you. That is what it is all about.

      My ski accident was two years ago, so my knee is doing pretty good these days.It will never be 100% but I am back out there, and that fills my soul. I love meeting God on the mountain. Thank you for your prayers, Lord know I still need them. Praying for you as I send this back.

      I am so glad to have connected with you online.
      Blessings,

      Maree

  8. Reply

    Misty Phillip

    Excellent post! So glad I saw this on What Joy is mine! I have a friend who says,”that judgment is not my responsibility, so I leave it to God.” I love that wisdom. It can be a struggle. So thankful for your insights! Blessings, Misty

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Misty,

      I am glad you stopped by too. I look forward to visiting your site too. I love being able to make new friends online. I love what your friend says about leaving it to God. I couldn’t agree more. Now just to do it.

      Blessings,

      Maree

  9. Reply

    Sheila Qualls

    I understand that feeling of being judged. I write about it this week, too. I am a rule follower. Thanks for the perspective.😳

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Me too, such a rule follower. It is a little fun to get out of the box once in awhile and break a rule here and there. Of course, nothing too wild or that hurts another. Maree

  10. Reply

    Sarah Geringer

    Your list is so true, Maree. I struggle with the sin of judgment, and your list reminds me why it’s so costly. Thank you for sharing this week at #graceandtruth.

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Sarah – That is so true it is costly. Hope you are having a great weekend. Maree

  11. Reply

    Becky Hastings

    Once again, you share your story so beautifully Maree. You have brought such a gentle and loving conviction to something God has been revealing in my heart. It is uncomfortably freeing and I am grateful for the revelation.

    I struggle so much with judgement, and I realized it is completely wrapped in my desire to be enough. When others think and act and do life the way I do, it validates me. When they are different, well, that’s another story.

    I’m thinking God is stirring up some words for me here 🙂

    Thank you friend!

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Becky – Thank you! I am so glad that I was able to lovingly bring something to light that God has been revealing in your heart. Your message did the same.

      Every time I think I am doing pretty good in the area of judgments God shows me I still have lots of work to do. Together we can tackle this.

      Maree

  12. Reply

    Kathryn McCarn (@thiskathryngirl)

    Oh my…. that was a tough one to read. This is one I struggle with all the time, and you made some really good points here. Thank you for speaking the truth! Definitely sharing this.

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Kathryn, You are so welcome! Yes, the truth is we all struggle with this from time to time. I know I do. Maree

    2. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Thank you for sharing. I need to figure out how to get with and get a twitter account.

  13. Reply

    Bette

    Thanks so much for these wonderful insights to applly to our lives today, Maree! I can relate & definitely appreciate them very much 😉

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Bette — Thank you that means the world to me that you appreciate my posts. Maree

  14. Reply

    mbethany

    So much wisdom in this, Maree! Yes, I absolutely have at times not done things I should have for fear of judgement. I have also made assumptions as I’ve judged. Thanks for calling out this issue and clearly outlining what judging does!

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      I hear myself say that too many times. What will they think if I…….. Now I counter it with, “Oh, well God knows.” I too make assumptions and have to remind myself; I have no idea what is going on. Thank you for stopping by and continuing the conversation.

    2. Reply

      Becky Hastings

      I love your profile pic, btw….just thought you should know. Carry on beautiful one!

      1. Reply

        Maree Dee

        Becky – You made my day. I feel like I am the only one out there without a picture of myself. I tend to be a rule-following kind of person so being different is not usually something I do. Maree

  15. Reply

    George

    Nice

  16. Reply

    Brenda

    Amen to all of that. Perfect points, Maree. We need to feel safe in community, where our differences are appreciated and welcomed. It’s hard being human sometimes, isn’t it? I’m so sorry about your injury. Prayers that you’ll be back to your normal routines soon. ((Hug)) Thank you for sharing these insightful words with #ChasingCommunity today, Maree. ((xoxo))

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Brenda – It is hard to be human. Today I do not like it.

      It has been two years since my fall, and I am back at it. My knee is not 100%, and I have to adjust to skiing a different way. I have to rest in between runs and stay away from the moguls. I have had to work on my gratitude and be thankful I can get back out there even if it is different. It has been a journey of lessons.

      FYI – I will always be in practice to not be judgmental. I do not have it mastered.

      Blessings,
      Maree

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