I’m human. I wrote yesterday about judging others by body-shaming others and last night I did it myself. It’s humbling to admit. Here’s what happened.
How I was judging others
I went to a ballet. We were waiting for the ballet to begin and I was people-watching. But I was also judging. Oh, I never said anything out loud, not even to my husband but I was thinking it. That’s just as bad.
I looked at many who were attending and found myself thinking, how do people let themselves get so overweight? Yes, I really did. And after what I wrote yesterday about how we shouldn’t do it. Hypocritical? Honest? Human? Yes to all.
I didn’t have to share this with you but I don’t want to pretend to be something I’m not. But here’s what I did when I realized what I was doing.
How I handled it.
The Holy Spirit immediately convicted me of my sin and I asked for forgiveness. I asked for a change of heart and God gave it to me. I was able to turn it around right away and my feelings followed. Looking again at these same people I reminded myself I know nothing about them or what they might be dealing with.
I also realized I judged because I have my own body image issues. No one judges anyone about anything from a healthy mind. We judge because it makes us feel better to think someone is less than us in some way.
Let me sidetrack for a moment. I am scheduled for some serious foot surgery December 29th. My foot was really painful that day. At the last moment I chose my “ugly” shoes for comfort rather than my stylish short boots, which the outfit I wore definitely required. I felt frumpy and I wondered how many people looked at me and thought, what horrible shoes to wear with that outfit. How many people judged my appearance not knowing the backstory? (Of course, no one probably even noticed.) And, I think you know where I’m heading. It was out of my own insecurity that I judged others.
Ways to combat tendency to body-shaming and judging others
Some ways to combat body-shaming if only in our mind:
- Remind ourselves that could be us. My mother was thin. At one point in her life, her doctor recommended she drink a shake every day. She could be overtly critical of anyone who was even slightly overweight. We had a talk one day about this and she did much better after that. (Yes, I see the irony in this.)
- Remind ourselves that maybe these people have tried to be thinner or heavier and are really struggling.
- Remembering that people are more than their body type.
- Remind ourselves there are souls and hearts behind the exterior.
- Remind ourselves that we will be held accountable for every thought we think and every word we speak, even we Christians.
Ways to combat judging.
- Immediately ask for forgiveness when we find ourselves going down this road.
- Ask for a true change of heart.
- Ask God for a practical way to combat your judgemental attitude. It could be a Bible verse you memorize or a saying that helps you stop it in it’s tracks.
- Pray for that person you find yourself judging. Remember there is probably always that one thing in every person’s case about which we know nothing
- Ask yourself what you are feeling insecure about because I can guarantee it, you are
- Another strategy is to cultivate self-awareness. Pay attention to your own biases and prejudices. Often, our judgments stem from our own insecurities and prejudices projected onto others. By acknowledging and confronting these biases, you can start to break the cycle of judgment.
8. Finally, if you need one foolproof method, memorize this:
We all judge.
Judging others is a common tendency that we all experience. It’s in our sin nature. Even the apostle Paul said he did things he shouldn’t do. (Romans 7:15-20) It can be easy to label and criticize others based on their actions, beliefs, or appearances. However, it is essential to recognize the negative consequences of this behavior and to actively combat it.
Judging not always wrong.
Furthermore, fostering a mindset of tolerance, not necessarily acceptance, can significantly reduce the inclination to judge. Recognize that everyone is unique, with their own experiences, strengths, and flaws. Embrace the idea that our differences make the world a more interesting and vibrant place.
However, it’s also important to remember that all judging is not wrong. When we judge a situation to be dangerous, it might just save our lives. When we judge a person as dangerous, it might also save our lives. Judging people and circumstances is self-preservation at times.
However, lest someone take this too far, not judging, doesn’t mean we water down our beliefs. But we can stay firm in our Christian beliefs while still being kind. Jesus never minced words when speaking truth but he still loved.
Remember, combating judging others is an ongoing process that requires self-reflection and conscious effort. But by embracing empathy, self-awareness, acceptance, and gratitude, we can contribute to a more compassionate and open-minded society.
God bless and pray for peace.
- Thankfulness goes way beyond a one day grateful fest
- Weed-free. When You Feel Like A Weed,not a sturdy tree.
- How to be blessed and happy. Psalm 1
- Holiday moods. How to master the ups and downs.
- How to quiet our souls. Why you should.