Christians are often accused of being too judgmental. It’s a fine line to cross because we must proclaim the truth even when it means we’re misunderstood as being too judgmental.
Yet at the same time, we can easily fall into the trap of judging people within and outside of the church unfairly. Pray through the 10 Christian tips of how to not be judgmental and choose to live out your life in gentleness with peace towards others.
Tip #1) Seek wisdom and discernment before you speak about sensitive issues.
“Wisdom is found on the lips of the discerning” (Proverbs 10:13).
The easiest way to bring an offence is to speak before you seek wisdom from God. There’s a time to speak up and a time to be quiet. Wisdom gives you the insight of the best time for you. The Lord gives wisdom to all those who ask Him in faith.
Tip #2) Develop an awareness and sensitivity towards others who’ve made bad choices.
“Do to others what you would have them do to you” (Matthew 7:12).
People carry more guilt, shame, and regret inwardly than anyone could put on them. Being sensitive means that you’re recognizing God’s grace towards healing and restoration, not condemnation. It’s important to reflect on how you would want to be treated, if you were in that situation.
Tip #3) Resist the temptation to make quick opinions about people you know (or don’t know).
“Eli thought she was drunk and said to her, “How long are you going to stay drunk? Put away your wine” (1 Samuel 1:14).
Eli was quick to judge Hannah when she was doing the right thing. We have no idea of the reasons why people speak or act in the manner they do. It’s not our responsibility to make everyone appear righteous. God is more concerned with their hearts and that’s where He does His greatest work in man.
Tip #4) Accept the truth that only God knows everything about every person.
“Motives are weighed by the Lord” (Proverbs 16:2).
No matter how long a person has been in the Lord—they never stop learning more of Him. Only the Lord can see the hearts and minds of people to know their motives. We can only speculate based on their actions which may or may not reveal the true story.
Tip #5) Intercede for those who walk in darkness to come to the light of Christ.
“For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors” (Isaiah 53:12)
While we were still in our sinful ways, the Lord was making intercession for us. As believers, we are like Jesus when we pray for those who are lost rather than make judgments about them. God works a great love in our hearts when we intercede with many prayers and supplications for unbelievers.
Tip #6) Be open-minded about the different ways people choose to worship God.
“True worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth” (John 4:23).
The body of Christ is much larger than any one local church. Many churches have an adopted style of worship that may not work for everyone. We can love one another and remain united in our determination to build the kingdom of God even if we don’t worship in the same manner.
Tip #7) Meditate on how Jesus interacted with the “sinners” during His earthly ministry.
“‘Then neither do I condemn you,’ Jesus declared. ‘Go now and leave your life of sin’” (John 8:11).
Jesus was accused for His insistence on connecting with sinners, tax collectors, and Gentiles. He remained focused on God’s will for His earthly ministry without missing opportunities to show love and kindness to those on the outside. We are His disciples when we interact with loving kindness and gentleness minus a judgmental attitude.
Tip #8) Respect the diversity within the body of Christ throughout the world.
“Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it” (1 Corinthians 12:27).
How boring the world would be if God created us to all look the same, act the same, and dress the same! The body of Christ is a beautiful, complex, and unique arrangement of believers from all walks of life, yet connected by one Spirit of God. We are all a part of the church regardless of our traditions, race, ethnicity, or any other differences—we are united in Jesus.
Tip #9) Understand the Biblical concept of speaking truth with a loving attitude.
“Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow” (Ephesians 4:15).
Speaking the truth in love (especially to someone who’s deceived by sin) will take much time and patience. If we get flustered and in hurry for someone to change, then we’re not really trusting in God to move in their hearts. A heart needs to be ready to receive truth.
Tip #10) Shine the light of Christ in such a way that people are drawn to Jesus and not driven away.
“For God…made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6).
The light of Jesus that shines from within us isn’t a piercing and judgmental glare, but rather a warm glow of His presence. When people sense your respect, sincerity, and gentleness, they will respond to Christ. Let the light of Jesus be the footprint you leave behind in any situation.
Being a hard-nosed judgmental person can hinder our ability to reach other people for Christ. In the end, it won’t matter if you win or lose an argument. Yet it will matter if your words, actions, and attitude leave a presence of peace or of pain on the hearers.
Crystal McDowell and her husband of 22 years raise their five children in the Midwest. She writes, speaks, and teaches with a passion to encourage women with Biblical truths. As a freelance writer for over 12 years, Crystal has written numerous Christian curricula for Sunday School and VBS as well as many articles dealing with marriage, motherhood, and relationships. She gives weekly words of encouragement on her blog: Crystal McDowell Speaks. Read Crystal’s testimony of God’s grace here: Not Done Yet