2.16.2009

Women Judging Women

How differently might our lives be if we women didn’t have to fear the harsh criticisms of other women? Might we be willing to step out a little bolder for Jesus? Might we be willing to be a little more vulnerable? Might we live our lives a less guarded?

Jesus made it very clear that he didn’t come to this world to bring condemnation. He never even condemned the worst of sinners. He leveled his harshest criticisms against those sinners who dared to cast judgments against others.

Oh sweet sisters, women judging other women, must absolutely break God’s heart.

The crazy thing is when we judge others, we elevate ourselves past the ability to recognize our own propensity to sin in the very area we are criticizing. Show me a woman who is leveling a judgment against another person, and I will show you a woman who is wrapped in sin herself.

If it’s not the very same sin she’s criticizing, it will be a sin just as dangerous- pride.

It is a subtle shift that Satan invites us into. Voicing criticisms against others will coat the eyes of our soul with smut so thick, we become blinded to our own sin. Pride and self-righteousness will detour us from God’s best path and lead us on a treacherous journey of denial. We’ll deny our own sinfulness. We’ll deny our own need for grace.

Those who can’t see their own desperate need for grace, refuse to freely grace to others.

Now, if you’re like me, you may be tempted to start making a mental list of those who you have felt judged by and you started praying a few sentences back- “Please let so and so read today’s post. Oh I hope she sees herself in this gets a whammy of conviction.”

But, let’s stop making that mental list and receive this message personally. Even if we are not naturally critical people, this is an area we can all grow in.

I recently read a wonderful quote outlining a beautiful plan when we feel tempted to judge someone else. Francis Frangipane in his book Holiness, Truth, and the Presence of God says, “Anyone can pass judgment- but can they lay down their lives in love, intercession and faith for the one judged? Can they target an area of need and rather than criticizing, fast and pray, asking God to supply the very virtue they feel lacking? And then persevere in that love-motivated prayer until that fallen area blooms in godliness? Such is the life Christ commands we follow!” (pg.11)

I know just posting this will not suddenly make the world tip on it’s axis and shake all of us women into breaking the cycle of criticisms and judgment. However, maybe, it will be a start.

If it causes even one of us to fall in front of Jesus in repentance and allow Him to wipe the smut of pride and self-righteousness from our spiritual eyes- it will be a great start. Now, let me be that one.

Sweet Jesus, May I first fall in repentance into your loving arms of grace. Thank you for the harsh ways I have been judged lately for it opened my eyes to this stinging way we women can be.

Forgive me for not extending grace at times to others. I am a woman who desperately needs it- so, I should be a woman who freely offers it.

When I am tempted to be critical of someone else, help me hold my thoughts and my tongue. Instead of voicing those things, help me bring them to you in honest and heart felt prayers for that person. May I be one who is so motivated by love, that I will persevere in my prayers for that person until I see you working in glorious ways.

God, I pray you use this post in a mighty way. First, in my own heart. And then in the beautiful, amazing, full of potential hearts of God’s girls everywhere. Amen.

Comments

  1. says

    I blogged similarly today Lysa. Mine was called SEE or PhariSEE. That is am I viewing through God’s eyes, or judging through my own, like a Pharisee. It’s tough. I know I’m very guilty of it. But I working on it. Obviously lots of women are, as God has us both blogging about it today!

  2. says

    Good morning, Lysa! Thank you for this post. I pray I daily submit my heart to God for Him to search and make it holy. God has been growing me in grace and mercy, which I need to extend to others freely and without judgment. Only by His grace and love can this be so.

    I read this the other day in Isaiah 58 about “true fasting”. It spoke to me about NOT FINGER POINTING and not speaking maliciously. His promises are amazing when we and “If”…: vv9-11

    “Then you will call, and the LORD will answer; you will cry for help, and He will say: Here am I.
    “If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
    and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.

    11 The LORD will guide you always; He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.”

    Also, what you shared a few months ago about Holly promising you to never say anything dishonoring about you to anyone…that really impacted my heart. When my heart becomes judgmental and critical, I ask Him to help me honor Him and not dishonor any person with my tongue, actions or thoughts. I fall short regularly, but I will not lower the Biblical bar to desire to honor Him.

    Many blessings to you today!

  3. says

    Your post ties in so well with Zoe’s devotional for P31 today on “Joyful Humility”. God is stressing a point today.

    Satan’s fall was because of pride. Ez.28:16-17 says, “I banished you in disgrace from the mountain of God. I expelled you, O mighty guardian, from your place among the stones of fire. Your heart was filled with pride because of all your beauty.”

    The Lord has really worked on pride in me in the past and continues to do so. I’ll never forget the week He seemed to be hitting me at every turn – even to purchasing a cup of coffee at a Donut shop where their paper cups all have one word on them. Guess what my word was? PRIDE!

    At Holly’s suggestion, I’m currently reading the book you quoted from. I’m reading it slowly and being challenged as I let His Word convict and strengthen me.

    Praying for the healing of the hurts that have crushed your heart, but rejoicing in how you allow the Lord to work through even the harsh treatment of others. Father, help me extend grace today.

    For Him,
    Joy

  4. Mabry's gamma says

    Lysa,

    Thank you for sharing. Your posts are wonderful, they make me think and hopefully make me a better person. It is difficult at times and then… I read your blog.

    cheri

  5. says

    He has been reminding me lately that we are all on the same team. We are all working to bring HIM glory…so why all of the comparisons and competition?

    Your honest and humble heart is ever a blessing. Thank you for your quickness to admit you need Him desperately.

    May we all submit our hearts to Him, pray for one another, and start lifting each other up instead of tearing one another down.

  6. says

    Oh…and in case I somehow sounded like I have it together by saying we should all lay our hearts down…not my intention. He has to remind me we are all on the same team cause this sinful heart of mine can so easily slip into competition and comparison.

    So I lay my heart down before Him, too, before saying anyone else should! 🙂

  7. says

    Lysa…I so agree with you…As I am guilty of doing this myself. We recently started attending a church that we had left a few years ago. The church is a come as you are, you are always welcome kind of church. It is so nice to be back in that atmosphere. I don’t feel judged when I get involved there.

    I also heard, I believe Renee S say about you…Lysa is a person that see what women can become, not see them as where they are. I have held onto that since I read about her saying that. I have tried to live like that, until I mess it up! But then I start over and strive to be that way. It is so hard when we see different messages from the WORLD…

    thanks for your post!
    Shannon

  8. says

    This is an important post, Lysa. Why do we women fall to this so easily? Why are we critical instead of gracious? I’ve been struggling with this in my own life and not liking what I see–the sin of pride you mention.

    I’m so sorry you’ve been hurt by someone’s judgment, but thankful you’ve applied it to your own life and used it to help us.

  9. says

    So powerful. And I needed it.

    Thank you so much for opening up your heart and sharing with us what the Lord and life have shown you lately. I’m always changed by it, Lysa.

    Blessings,
    Kate 🙂

  10. Anonymous says

    I avoid “catty” women like the plague.

    I guess I’ve always been surrounded by guys while growing up, in college and now have a house full of ’em that I can spot the “catty” gals a mile away. It’s the “looks” or sizing up that women do that unnerves me to no end.
    Yes grace is extended to them when I am around them, but truly it can ONLY be on the surface “How do you do?” encounter. Any type of personal stuff is obsolete or otherwise it can be used as ammunition as soon as you turn the corner.

  11. says

    I think that this could well be my “besetting sin”….being critical of others! And oh there are times when I think I have lain it at the feet of Jesus only to have something happen and the first thing I do is criticize !
    Help me Lord!

    Thank you Lysa for having the “guts” to post this today!

    Marilyn

  12. says

    I really believe that when women judge and criticize, it is often really out of low self esteem more than out of pride. By putting others down, we make oursleves feel better and more worthy. It stinks- it’s wrong.
    I taught my teenage girls that when others talk bad about you, they are probably more jealous than anything. Hurtful thoughts lead to hurtful words, so today, I choose to take every thought captive in obedience to Christ. Thanks for a thought-provoking post.

  13. says

    Good word Lysa! I have such a burden for this and how we treat each other as women. How much more we could do for the kingdom if we were building each other up!
    Blessings to you!

  14. says

    Every single thing we do is a seed…we’re either sowing grace and mercy, or, God help us, criticism and judgement.

    I couldn’t agree more, Lysa, that the best way to turn around ANY form of judgemental or critical thoughts is to PRAY.

    Excellent post!

  15. says

    My husband learned the phrase “bouncing your eyes” from a book (I believe it was Every Man’s Battle) when men are temped by something they see like a commercial or a pop-up add or whatever. I try something else called “bouncing your thoughts” to change my thought progression when I feel like my thoughts are trapped in a whirlwind of judgement or comparison. It’s a battle within but we are never left without a way out…

  16. says

    Lysa –
    Thanks for such an appropriate post! Sometimes being in ministry can be so hard…
    but two pieces of advice given to me early in ministry – I try to keep in mind.
    1.) The only way to avoid criticism is to Do Nothing, Say Nothing and Be Nothing. (And then just know that some will critize for that!)
    2.) Any time that critism comes our way – to examine it and see if there is ANY truth to it – and then deal with that part. Then THROW THE REST AWAY!

    Praying for / with you sweet sister!

    Sweet Blessings,
    DeeDee

  17. says

    Thank you, Lord for stirring my heart to seek forgiveness at Your feet.
    My accuser is someone so close to me but I fight right back with judgement so am no better than she. Thank you, Lysa for being real.
    And as an update, Sean is awake and doing better than expected but still has a ways to go. Latest is on my blog.
    Thank you so much for your kind words!

  18. says

    Oh man. I see that happening in me. Regardless if I say it or not, it is in my heart-yuk! Thank you for reminding me that it is MY sin in the way.

  19. says

    AMEN sista! I was just having this conversation tonight before I read your blog with my husband! I too avoid catty women like the plague! It is so hurtful to the victim who is usually innocent. I see it everyday. I don't get it but it seems so hard to avoid and I can smell it a mile away! I hope today's post opens a lot of eyes just to be more aware. I find in most cases this stems from jealousy. I am so happy for someone who is prospering or pretty etc. But to have the opposite of shown to you just hurts so bad. I do pray for those from whom I have been their victim. It's nice to see that you are acknowledging this and putting it out there… Be pure of heart in all you do & say!

  20. says

    Lysa
    I am certainly shaken! Just today…I caught glimpse of my judgemental spirit and critical attitude. I spoke to God momentarily about it (feeling so ashamed and convicted!!) and tonight as I opened up your post realized….I’m not quite finished with that conversation.
    Thank you, dear one!

    I don’t ever want to make anyone feel like I have felt many times at the hands of sister’s in Christ.

    Big ole blessings to ya!
    Message heard…loud and clear!

  21. says

    A hearty amen, Lysa. I have been thinking about judgement lately, namely wondering if I am being judged. A quick read of my post today would indicate that I am not – I am loved. I pray that I extend love to others and never be judgemental or self-righteous. Thank you so much for a wonderful post, as always!

  22. says

    Thank you for this. It is exactly what I needed to read / hear. Been having some of this kind of thing (that I lovingly call ‘Kindergarten Crap’) going on in my world…this is a good reminder that what is going on has nothing to do with me…now I can get back to work! Thanks!

  23. says

    My hubby and I have been in the ministry a long time and I can say that this is right near the top of sins that we see in the Body. We have encouraged the ladies for years to pray for people, not about them! If they see someone doing something that isn’t sin as defined by the Bible, but is something that they fear may be detrimental, then they should pray honestly for that person. Other female Christians hear from God the same as we do, and if we pray and God does speak to them, that is something that no human can ever take away from them, the concern has been resolved, and sin has been avoided.

    Concerning convictions. We have some in our body with very strong convictions about modesty, relationships, and families. Unfortunately too many times they think that if God has given them such strong convictions, then everyone needs to have the same ones. I often tell them that if God has given you very strong convictions, it is because YOU need them because it is an area where you have a better chance of falling, but that doesn’t mean that everyone has that same weakness and therefore may not need as strong a conviction as yours! It is a humiliating thought, but a Biblical one, I believe.

    Enjoyed your blog. Am adding it to my google reader.

  24. says

    Excellent post! I’ve had very similar thoughts rolling around in my head, lately. I agree totally that we see things in others that we struggle with ourselves. I find it quite frustrating, and honestly a little embarrassing. Noticing something ugly about someone else, only to realize I am so guilty of the same thing. ugh!

    Thanks for the great reminder.

    Blessings,
    Rachel

  25. says

    I do think that we need to be careful that we don’t confuse Biblical judgement with cattiness.

    I completely agree that oftentimes, women can be especially critical of other women. They are out to raise themselves up while putting others down. This is wrong and sinful.

    On the other hand, women judging women is not sinful. If you see a woman who is not being Biblical in her actions as a woman, wife and mother, then it is your responsibility to approach her in love and gentleness to right her with God.

    We are warned first to look at ourselves and make sure that we do not have a plank within our own eye. We are all sinners, but there is a difference between someone living in sin and not changing it, versus someone whose daily life is a struggle to peel off the sin that she hates.

    As Christians, we are called to be discerning when it comes to fellow believers. We are to see all things through the lens of Scripture…and when a friend of fellow mom is faltering…with God’s grace, we are to help them, point out their sin, and walk along side them in the process.

  26. says

    Super quote by Francis Frangipane. I got attacked this morning for being judgmental for posting on a homeschool board about protecting our children from the homosexual agenda. http://budurl.com/gayagn

    My goal was to make aware not condemn. We all need to be extra careful speaking on controversial topics that our words are heard lovingly not condemnation.

    Great post thanks. Found this post from A Dusty Frame’s Tweet and blog.

  27. says

    WOW. This is such a great word. Thanks Lysa. You are right. And I love Frangipane’s quote on praying for the people we are judgemental towards, instead of festering and festering over how mad we are at them. There is so much healing that comes to our souls when we pray for people.

  28. says

    Hi Lysa, Wow! I wonder if we’ll ever need to NOT hear this message? Seriously, as women it seems like we just get it down, then we have to learn it again.

    Thanks for the beautiful reminder.

  29. says

    Hi Lysa, it was great to meet you in Dallas last week! My Grandmother Geddie, who taught second grade for 40 years had this to say about judging: When we judge anyone, we are taking the role of being God’s administrator…for what you are saying is that the Creator, Almighty, King of Kings made some sort of mistake in how He wired his unique and imperfect people in his attempt to allow us to need Him. Pretty good stuff…we are all imperfect, broken, and without that brokenness, flawed imperfection would have no need for God!
    I loved seeing you in person, sharing with your staff, and I so am thankful for the God who allowed me to be there with you!
    much love,
    Sweetie