Three Ways To Surrender Judgment and Welcome a Heart of Compassion
As I move through my day, my week, I recognize a thousand little moments —moments where judgment rises and begins to claim my heart spaces. Judgment is never satisfied, invading and stealing any measure of grace, any kindness, any compassion, becoming a cancer to my perception and a disease to my relationships.
Scripture is clear that we as Believers should judge (discern, declare, assess) that which is right or wrong, that we are to distinguish between that which is righteous and congruent with the Word of God. Yet Scripture is equally clear that we should not judge (condemn the worth, value, or character of) another individual. Matt 7:1-2 (NIV)
Somehow I find myself thinking:
• I can’t believe she’s allowing her child to behave like that.
• Don’t they know there is a better way to do that?
• They must have more problems than I thought.
My judgment was harming my life in more ways than I realized. Judgment created an illusion of safety, but in reality it kept me from the intimacy and connection I desired.
Judgment weighed as an anchor, preventing me from claiming my Belovedness and instead left me with the shame of my own soul-deficits. My distinct lack of “enough-ness.” My blindness towards the sacred journey of becoming. Judgment kept me from me claiming the destiny that God has for me because it darkened my vision, clouded my compassion, and enlarged my cynicism to the point that it spread as a vicious disease within my heart.
I am learning how to surrender judgment, how to cleanse my heart and grow compassion so that nothing holds me back from loving and serving in the ways God has designed. Here are four steps you can learn to surrender your judgment and develop a heart of compassion, too.
Become aware of your judgment without judgment.
We become lost in the illusion that we are better, smarter, kinder, etc. To be sure, this false perception keeps us from acknowledging our brokenness and prevents us from becoming safely rooted in relationship with our neighbors, our spouses, our family, and our community who are all walking in their brokenness. Reaching towards them with the same compassion we so desperately desire from them.
Recognize the times during the week when your judgment towards yourself or others is active. Become aware of judgmental thoughts that spill into your mind and write them down. Practice speaking them aloud. Notice how these words make you feel inside.
Resist the urge to judge them or shame them. Just sit with them, notice them. Surrender them. Becoming aware of your judgment and being gentle with yourself will help you to see that the practice of detoxing from judgment is miraculous and freeing.
II Cor 13:10 (NIV) Paul says, This is why I write these things when I am absent, that when I come I may not have to be harsh in my use of authority—the authority the Lord gave me for building you up, not for tearing you down.
Ephesians 4:32 (NIV) adds, Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Replace judgment with compassion.
As you go through your week, pray for eyes to see and ears to hear judging thoughts as they enter. As you surrender them, ask God to replace these thoughts with compassionate ones. Imagine how you would want someone to respond to you —in the office, at home, at school— on your worst day, and begin to speak those things to the judgment inside.
The more you center your heart on God, His love, His compassion for all of His children, judgment will begin to shrink and compassion will rise. CLICK TO TWEET
Ephesians 4:32(ESV) encourages us to, Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Colossians 3:12 (ESV) suggests that we, Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.
1 Thessalonians 5:11-14 (ESV) offers, Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all.
See the beauty in others.
When someone offends you, the last thing we want to do is to see their beauty, their humanity. To acknowledge their belovedness.
Do it anyway. Before judgment settles in, interrupt it, repent of it, surrender it to God and choose to see the beauty in others.
Ask God to reveal areas of judgment inside your heart. As quickly as you become aware of these moments, these exchanges, all you have to do is be willing to release any bitterness, any resentment that swells inside. Just release them. Don’t hold on.
Exhale heaviness. Inhale love. Exhale offense, judgment, shame. Inhale gratitude, compassion, kindness. Inhale life.
1 Peter 2:9 (NIV)reminds us, But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
1 Sam 16:7 (NIV)The Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature,because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.
Gal. 3:26 (NIV) tells us, For in Christ Jesus you are all sons (and daughters) of God, through faith.
Blessing would be easy if we needed only to bless those we love. Those with whom we feel safe, those who welcome us, cheer us, believe in us.
Practice blessing those who have hurt you, those who dislike you, those with whom you disagree. Offer blessing, not cursing. We have a choice. CLICK TO TWEET
Bless their coming and their going. Bless them and everyone in their household. Bless their health and their homes, their livelihoods and their marriages. Bless their children and their children’s children.
My heart begins to whisper:
• I can’t imagine the day that sweet mother must be having. Let me say a quick prayer for her, perhaps offer a word of encouragement to her.
• I’m sure there are many ways to accomplish the same task. My way doesn’t have to be the only way. I’ll be excited to see how they reach their goal.
• I can sure relate to their problems. I’ve had my share, too. Let me pause and say a quick prayer of blessing over them.
Something miraculous happens in our hearts when we surrender judgment and replace it with compassion, with blessing. We open ourselves to allowing peace, hope, joy to multiply inside our hearts.
Proverbs 11:25-28 (MSG)— inspires us that, The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed; those who help others are helped. Curses on those who drive a hard bargain! Blessings on all who play fair and square! The one who seeks good finds delight; the student of evil becomes evil. A life devoted to things is a dead life, a stump; a God-shaped life is a flourishing tree.
A flourishing tree— not a diseased tree. A life-giving tree—not a death-speaking tree.
Blessing upon blessing.
About This Community
Don't we all want a little peace? My heart for this community is to provide just that - a needed refuge from all the burdens that weigh us down, some encouragement and inspiration to keep us weary travelers moving forward on our journeys, and some practical advice to help each of us navigate the challenges of life and relationships. Whether in our parenting, our marriages, our faith, or the broken places in our hearts, this place is for anyone who dares to reach beyond the hopelessness that surrounds us and embrace a lifestyle of emotional abundance and peace!
About Peace for a Lifetime
In my book, Peace for a Lifetime, I share the keys to cultivating a life that’s deeply rooted, overflowing, and abundant, the fruit of which is peace. Through personal and professional experience as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, I've discovered how to take the broken pieces of life and find indestructible peace with myself, God and with others. Through my story and other’s stories you’ll realize that you can experience the life for which you long. You can experience abundance beyond anything you can imagine. You can experience peace, not just for today, not just for tomorrow. You can experience peace —for a lifetime!
Peace for a Lifetime is available on Amazon.com.
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