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Concerns with Being Judgmental of Others

By Mormon.org

What Does It Mean to Judge Someone?

We likely are familiar with the phrase “Don’t judge me!” We say this when we don’t want our actions, appearance, or other attributes to cause others to think differently or negatively of us. What does the phrase mean for the person to whom it is said? What does it mean to judge someone?

God is the only one who knows each person’s heart, and Jesus Christ is the only one who knows exactly what each person goes through in life; therefore, They are the only beings who can fairly judge everyone. When we judge someone, we have limited sight and often form our opinion based on surface-level attributes such as appearance, speech, or the ways they are different from us. These judgments can be incorrect or unfair, as we don’t gain enough information to make a judgment about a person until we get to know them more deeply. Even then, we can’t know them as completely as God does.

One of the most difficult parts of life is making correct and righteous judgments. Righteous judgments mean putting great thought and care into our decisions and opinions, basing them on gospel principles and the example of Jesus Christ. This is especially important when applying judgment to others.

How Do We Exercise Righteous Judgment?

If we disagree with someone or are offended by a person’s actions, speech, or appearance, the easiest path is to reject them or think badly of them and believe that our opinion is final and true. But as President Thomas S. Monson has said, in life we should always try to choose “the harder right instead of the easier wrong.“ All of us have unseen pain and are trying to live with whatever life has dealt us in the best way we can, so kindness toward others while honoring appropriate boundaries is always the best choice.

Every person who has ever lived, is currently living, or will live on this earth is a precious child of God. He sees us all the same and loves us all equally. His love is greater than we can imagine, and it hurts Him when we judge, belittle, or are unkind to each other. We don’t have to agree with everyone or condone their actions, but as we make a greater effort to see every individual as a child of God, we can become less judgmental and more like our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ’s Example

As the Savior was teaching at the temple, the scribes and Pharisees brought a woman to Him who had been taken in adultery. Instead of judging and rejecting her like the scribes and Pharisees hoped, He gently reminded them of their own imperfection, forgave the woman, and encouraged her to go forward and be better.

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This is a good example of how to approach judging others. We are all imperfect, but we can all be kind to each other and encourage each other forward on the path toward our Savior (see “Judging Others,” Gospel Topics, topics.lds.org).