These tips on how top stop being a critical, judgmental Christian are creative because they don’t revolve around your attitude. Your judgments won’t stop if you focus on “how to be a better Christian” — in fact, the more you focus on you, the more judgmental you’ll be.
Instead of focusing on how to be less judgmental, my tips for Christians are about honoring God with joy, creativity, and play! Why? Because if Christians love, honor and praise Jesus Christ with all their mind, heart, soul and strength then their judgments and criticisms will start to naturally fall away.
You as a Christian can’t be both loving and judgmental at the same time. It’s not possible for Christians to be simultaneously joyful and critical. These creative ways to stop being a judgmental Christian are about honoring God with a joyful spirit and loving play. Where better to start than with the Holy Spirit? Welcome Him into your heart, mind, soul and spirit. Ask Him to loosen the chains of judgment and criticism, to release the true you. Surrender to the freedom of childlike joy, love and faith. Believe that God is with you here and now.
Loving and honoring Jesus simply means being yourself in His presence. You don’t have to recite elaborate prayers or know how to respond when you feel God’s presence (though saying the “Our Father” prayer is a wonderful way to love and honor Jesus Christ). A simple yet creative way to love Jesus is to blow Him a kiss and give Him a wink! You honor God by becoming aware of His presence; you love Jesus Christ by looking up and meeting His gaze. This in turn will stop you from being so judgmental and critical of others.
In the Bible you’ll find many holy, sacred and serious ways to honor God and love Jesus Christ (and you’ll hear Jesus criticizing the Pharisees and his own disciples for being judgmental). There are many other ways to love God and honor Jesus — and the more you involve the Holy Spirit, the more creative your interaction with God will be! There is nobody like you, and there never will be another you again. God created you special and unique — and how you love and honor Jesus is as individual and creative as your DNA, fingerprints, laugh, and favorite way to eat a chocolate mint chip ice cream cone.
Two things inspired me to share tips on how to stop being judgmental by loving Jesus in creative ways: 1) a comment from a She Blossom reader who doesn’t feel the joy of being a Christian; and 2) the book of Leviticus.
First, the comment from my reader:
“My relationships have been one disappointment after another,” she says on 12 Creative Ways to Celebrate and Honor Your 40th Birthday. “I feel my biggest downer at this point in my life is my career. I never reached my potential and that has affected my long term goals. I am hoping as I turn 40 I can find a happy middle ground. I want a generally stable life with a foreseeable long-term structure. I think all these ‘worries’ have dragged me into depression. I just am not happy with where my life is and at 40 I truly hoped I would have been in a different place. Thank you for your article – this is a good starting point for me to change my perspective this year.”
Changing your perspective is a temporary fix, not a permanent solution to a life of joy, peace and freedom. Whether you’re struggling with a judgmental attitude or disappointment with how your life is turning out (which are closely related!), you have to stay under the spout where the Holy Spirit flows out. If you have a personal relationship with the Lord through the Holy Spirit, you can face anything and still experience deep peace, freedom, faith, hope and joy. You won’t be a judgmental Christian because you’ll accept God, yourself and others fully and freely.
How to Stop Being a Judgmental Christian
This article is part of my She Blossoms Through the Bible project. I’m writing an article for every chapter in every book of Scripture. Today is Leviticus 9, which contains more than I ever needed to know about making animal sacrifices and grain offerings to God. The Lord gave Moses a long long long list of instructions for the priests and Israelites.
Leviticus 9 is repetitive for a reason: it was really important to God that Moses and the Israelites learn how to live holy lives. God had just brought them out of Egypt and through the Exodus; in Leviticus God tells the Israelites how to live by honoring and loving Him. Until now my “She Blossoms Through the Bible” Leviticus blog posts have described the holiness and symbolism of the sacrifices and offerings (e.g., What God Wants From You Today and 10 Ways to Strengthen Your Relationship With the Holy Spirit).
This blog post is different. I want to contrast the seriousness of Leviticus with the joy and freedom of Jesus Christ. Why? Because the more joyful, peaceful and free we as Christians are, the less judgmental we’ll be.
1. Remind yourself daily what Jesus Christ did for you
How often do you relive the amazing, beautiful, undeserved free gift Jesus Christ gave you? He died on the cross and became the ultimate, final sacrifice. Jesus’ death and resurrection tore apart — for once and all — the veil that separated us from God. If you learn what this really means, if your heart actually changes because of Jesus’ sacrifice, then you won’t have any trouble loving Jesus and becoming less judgmental. Freedom and love will come naturally, an outpouring of praise, worship, love and joy. And it’s an upward spiral: the more you know about Jesus’ life and death, the easier it is to honor and love the Holy Spirit. The deeper Jesus’ gift of life, grace and forgiveness sinks into your heart as a Christian believer, the less judgmental you’ll be.
2. Learn what it means to blossom into who God created you to be
Are you growing into your potential? My She Blossoms reader said she’s disappointed by how her career turned out; she never became who God created her to be. Maybe it’s because she’s not a Christian — but even Christians can fail to find true freedom and joy! Even Christians can be judgmental of themselves, others, their church and community. Judgmental Christians haven’t blossomed. In Growing Forward When You Can’t Go Back I share 50 Blossom Tips, all designed to help you grow into who God created you to be. They also include creative ways to love Jesus Christ, practical tips for Christian living, heartfelt ideas for loving others, and effective ways to move past loss into a new season of life. You don’t have to buy my book to learn how to love God and honor Jesus, but the tips are creative, life-giving, and interesting.
3. Say “Hallelujah Anyway”
What if you praised God for who He is—no matter what was or wasn’t healed in your life? Saying “Hallelujah Anyway” means loving God because He is holy, powerful, and awesome. Singing “Hallelujah Anyway” means letting His will be done simply because He’s God. He flung the stars across the sky and scattered starfish in the deepest parts of the sea. He knows every nook and cranny of every mountain on earth. This is the God who knows and created you.
What can you give your powerful, awesome, holy God? Not your judgmental Christian attitude, that’s for sure. Rather, give God your worship and praise. A creative way to love Jesus is to say “Hallelujah Anyway” no matter what is happening in your life.
4. Pick up your baton and conduct the orchestra
It’s time to conduct the choir, so cue the music! Digging out your favorite songs is a creative way to be filled with joy. Maybe you love hymns such as “How Great Thou Art” or “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing.” Or maybe you’re keen on carols like “Angels We Have Heard on High” or “O Holy Night.” Maybe your spirits soar with musicals and movie soundtracks, such as “Mamma Mia” or “The Sound of Music.” Pick up your baton (or knitting needle, or chopstick) and stand quietly for a moment. Square your shoulders, plant your feet. Clear your throat and lift your chin. Raise your arms and hold the baton loosely. You’re the conductor! Hit “Play,” close your eyes, and lose yourself in the drums, guitars, saxophones, violins, tambourines, flutes, and cymbals. Cue the musicians by waving your arms, marching your legs, swaying your body, bopping up and down. Worship God by getting lost in the songs and sounds He created. This is my favorite and most creative tip for loving Jesus and becoming a less judgmental Christian. You can’t judge others if you lose yourself in the silliness of being funnily you.
5. Make a Basket of Blossoms for your neighbor
In Growing Forward When You Can’t Go Back I encourage readers to make a Jar of Blossoms. After all, loving your neighbor is how you love Jesus Christ, right? Honoring others is how you honor God (dishonoring others is why the Israelites had to make all those sacrifices in Leviticus). Loving and honoring others can be creative, playful, fun and interesting! Create a “Basket of Blossoms” for someone you know—a co-worker, relative, friend, neighbor. Find a small basket, flowerpot, glass jar, or any container. The more unusual, the better. Cut fourteen pieces of paper into squares or rectangles that can be rolled into small scrolls. Use markers or colored pencils to write specific messages of joy, hope, and encouragement. Tie the scrolls with a ribbon or string. The more personal your messages, the better. Share your memories, such as, “Remember when we ______? That was so funny/scary/crazy!” Or “I’ll never forget the time you _____.” Or perhaps “Every time I see/hear/smell ________ I think of the time ______.” Tell your friend to read a message every day. Her heart will blossom with the love of God, and so will yours. You’ll find less room in your mind and spirit for your old judgmental Christian attitude, and more room for acceptance and joy.
6. Create a Jar of Blossoms for yourself
A Jar of Blossoms is a container of big blessings and little joys, gifts and giggles. When something good happens—whether it’s a therapeutic massage or an Alaskan cruise—write it on a slip of paper. Plant it in your Jar of Blossoms. No need to get fancy (unless you’re fanciful); your container can be a pickle jar, wide-mouthed vase, or even a shoebox. Every morning, pluck a Blossom from your jar. Every evening, plant a seed in it. Add happy memories, or even small objects that fill you with gratitude and joy. Include a symbol that represents a healed wound, forgiven hurt, or step forward. You can add pictures, cards, love notes, Scripture verses—whatever makes you feel blossomy! When you’re tempted to judge others, remember your Jar of Blossoms. Remember why you’re a Christian, how creative God is, and how He lovingly accepted you into His family.
7. Learn how to love yourself in creative, nonjudgmental ways
Is it possible that you’re a judgmental, critical Christian because you can’t accept yourself? Maybe you’re unhappy with how your life turned out, or heartbroken over a divorce or death. You judge and criticize everything because you’re scared, insecure, unhappy. You’re not filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit or God’s peace. If you were, you wouldn’t be so judgmental. Learn how to accept and love yourself as a Christian woman in creative ways. Remember that everyone has a unique relationship with God; each of our lives are precious and part of His plan.
When you get to heaven, God won’t ask you to account for other people’s lives. You’re wasting your time judging, criticizing and condemning others. God doesn’t care what you think of other Christians; He cares what you think about Him. Jesus doesn’t care about your opinions of other Christians; he cares how you’re responding to Him today.
Take your judgmental attitude to God. Hear what He has to say about Christians who judge, condemn and criticize. Practice loving Jesus and asking the Holy Spirit for creative ways to infuse His love, joy, freedom, hope and peace into your life.
For tips on being less judgmental and hard on yourself, read Do You Compare Yourself to Other Christians?