Judgement and Comparison
In the quiet darkness of the auditorium, I listened to the voices singing around me. The words to the song on the screen in front of me and my family next to me. I stared at her from the middle of the congregation where I was sitting. I was looking at her high heels and her skirt and how skinny she was. It was Sunday morning at my weekly church service and they were singing on the worship team. I was picking apart each one, what she wore, how she raised their hands. And I questioned if her worship was from the heart or just a show of being a good Christian.
Instead of singing, that’s how I spent my time - comparing and judging. My judgement of that person led to a ruined time, when I could have instead been praising and worshiping Jesus. In my head, the verse from Bible camp started repeated Matthew 7:1, “Do not judge or you too will be judged.” Convicted, I realized how often I make those snap decisions, and how that judgement comes from being uncomfortable with myself, comparing her and I, and being discontent with where I am in my own life. That morning, I’m sure I had to fight to get the kids into the car, dragging my newborn with me and I was probably sleep deprived. None of these reasons as to why I was judging were good enough excuses for my heart actions.
It’s a common knowledge that we all judge at some point, so where does that knowledge leave us? Why do we not talk about what happens when you judge and compare yourself, because really, it’s a heart issue. See, my heart needed work that morning in the darkness of the church building. It still does. With those thoughts, came the need I saw in to examine myself.
Further into Matthew 7, verses 2-5, Jesus says,
“For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. 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? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and the you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
Where is your heart today? Are you judging others and comparing yourself to them? If you are, examine your heart. Are you comparing yourself to others and making those judgments on them? That judgement is so easy to do. And when you start, it’s hard to stop. Take a few minutes and think back to when you last judged someone. What was happening in your heart? Often when we judge others, it’s because we feel like we lack what they have or we are bothered by what they are doing because we see that same thing in our own lives. It could be bad habits or something we wish we could do instead of working on it, we judge instead.
It's also a pride issue – saying we’re better than they are when we judge them. So where do we go from here? When we compare ourselves to others, by saying we are more spiritual than another person, or we look better than they do, that’s our pride coming through and it’s a sin. When we act as judge, we take on the role of God, which we are not. However, the wonderful, joyous truth that we know from scriptures is that if we confess with our mouth, God forgives.
When we turn from our behaviors and repent, asking for forgiveness, God is faithful and just and quick to forgive. 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” This promise depends on us asking for forgiveness, but how awesome is it that he forgives us!
The perfect love of Jesus is willing to forgive over and over again. I said the comparison and judging was a heart issue. Through forgiveness, we have become a beautiful picture of God’s redemptive actions. I am in no way right to judge another person because I am not God, and when I ask for forgiveness, I become blameless again. I am made new and pure in the sight of God. Have you ever thought of that? The other day, again at church, again in the same dark auditorium, I sang songs as part of the worship service. While I sang, I dwelt upon God’s goodness that he would forgive me, and that he’s quick to forgive us when we ask for it. When dwelling upon his righteousness and goodness, we come face to face with the God who made the universe and loves us enough to forgive us, because he wants us to spend eternity with him.
Because of God’s graciousness and goodness, we can follow his lead and extend that grace to others. We want to be women who do not judge others, but rather accept everyone, love everyone and we want to shine with the love of Jesus through unjudgmental love. God’s grace allows us to extend unmerited forgiveness, love and blessings to others and His goodness allows us to continue living lives that worship Him. We don’t have to be judgmental and compare ourselves, but instead, we can provide others with an open welcome in our lives, allowing them to be themselves. We can live out God’s love through our actions.