Embracing Freedom From Judgment and Criticism

I used to be one of the most critical and judgmental people I knew. “Critical” was my default setting. If I was at the mall or even at church, I could look at someone and make three or four instant judgments about their clothes, hair, behavior or family. If I entered someone’s home, everything could be absolutely perfect, but somehow I would notice the slight rip in one corner of the wallpaper.

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I’ll admit, judging and criticizing others was something I rather enjoyed before God began to change me. Little by little, He used His Word to show me truth about myself. I’ll never forget one particular day. I had just finished judging someone and nitpicking them in my thoughts, when the Holy Spirit clearly spoke to my heart and said, “Joyce, you look at everyone else with a magnifying glass, but you look at yourself through rose-colored glasses.”

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I got the point! We can be quick to recognize what’s wrong with others and see all of their issues. But although we may have some of the same problems ourselves, we usually have good excuses to justify them. Jesus says in Matthew 7:5 (NIV), “You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”

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