Journey to Faith

Journey to Faith
Follow your own path

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Ignite the Power Within Step 2: Judgement or Judgmental: Do You Know the Difference?

One of the worst things I can think of is being called judgemental. The term has received a lot of bad press yet we make judgements on a daily basis. Judgement is part of the thinking process we use to make good decisions. According to the dictionary, a judgement is an opinion or a decision that has been given careful thought. So what gives? As part of the series this month on being open-minded, I decided to do a bit of research and here's what I found.

We all make judgements everyday.
One definition of judging has to do with evaluating circumstances, situations, and people. For example, in our driving, we judge how much room to allow before changing lanes. We judge whether we have enough time to make it to the grocery store before our appointment. This is a judgement based on experience and knowledge.

The other definition of the term "judgement" pertains to making negative moral assertions about others.  There is a difference between carefully evaluating a situation versus making negative moral assumptions about a person, culture, or ethnic group. It seems this is where the confusion comes in so let's take an example and see if we can understand the difference.

Your daughter comes home and says she slept with her boyfriend after the party and feels terrible about it. After questioning, you find out that there was liquor at the party. We deduce that our daughter had too much to drink. As we evaluate the situation, we can say things like "Okay, so you made a mistake. What can you learn from it?  to help her come to her understand. Also, we understand she used poor judgement regarding how much to drink,  This is an example of how we use judgement to both evaluate a situation and to make decisions in our daily lives.

On the other hand, if the parent is judgemental, rather than trying to understand the daughter, he or she would say something like "You are so promiscuous. You are trash. How could you be my daughter?" etc etc. Notice the negative verbage. This type of response serves only to demoralize and divide rather than unite. Judgement is used in both scenarios but in two totally different ways. Here's an article to further explain.

One key to knowing whether you are doing the second form of judging  is to ask yourself if you are evaluating to make a conclusion or if you are making negative moral conclusions about the other person or the situation. Everyone lives by their own set of moral standards,

Next time someone accuses you of being judgemental, you now have a better understanding to determine whether you are or not. Love to hear your feedback on this topic.

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Stay tuned for more on how to have an open mind and remember,

Keep looking up!

Ariel