Do you judge-mentally or are you judgmental? One is a well-reasoned response to a given situation, while the other is an irrational reaction. One investigates the specifics seeking the best outcome for everyone involved, while the other is condescending and self-serving in its handling of the facts.
A judgmental person thrives by focusing on your weaknesses and failures. As long as he can do that, he doesn’t have to think of his own puny performance and fatal flaws.
Paul challenged the church at Galatia to address this issue: “If a person is discovered in some sin, you who are spiritual restore such a person in a spirit of gentleness. Pay close attention to yourselves, so that you are not tempted too. Carry one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. Let each one examine his own work. Then he can take pride in himself and not compare himself with someone else. For each one will carry his own load . . . whenever we have an opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who belong to the family of faith (Galatians 6).”
Here are some questions for you to consider:
- When someone stumbles and falls, do I reject him or restore him?
- Am I reaching out with a “spirit of gentleness?”
- Do I have a “holier-than-thou attitude?”
- Have I examined my life to deal with my own shortcomings?
- Do I look for the opportunity to help carry the burden of the heavy-hearted?
- Am I like the Good Samaritan, and try to do good to all?
Your answers to these questions may help you determine if you are a picker-upper or a put-er-downer. Which of the two are you?