How can we change our judgmental behavior?
Such change is God’s work. When God looks at us, God sees Jesus Christ. And we have the possibility of seeing ourselves and others also as clothed with Jesus Christ. That is all pure gift—God’s grace and love. The things we do help unwrap that gift. These things are called spiritual disciplines or practices, and are good tools to prepare the way for God to change our hearts from judgmental to loving:
- Remember our baptism—a daily remembrance of baptism can help root us in God’s grace: God’s amazing love for us no matter what we have done or how far we have wandered
- Fasting—for a period of time, try fasting from judgmental words. Keep silent whenever judgmental thoughts arise
- Compassion—to view another with compassion is to look for the family resemblance; to see how we are alike rather than how we are different
- Hospitality—the spiritual practice of hospitality is to make room for others, to give them space to be themselves.
Remember, be gentle with yourself in these practices. Use them to open yourself to God’s amazing grace.
Today we remember John Donne, poet (1631). This message was adapted from “Judge Not” written by E. Louise Williams that first appeared in the March 2011 issue of Lutheran Woman Today (now Gather) magazine.