Are You Too Judgmental? Here’s How to Stop

🌺  Written by Brittany Ann

 Are You Too Judgmental? Here's How to Stop.According to this study conducted by Barna Group, 87% of 16- to 29-year-olds believe that that present-day Christianity is judgmental. 

In all fairness, the study is a few years old now, and the results may have been different if the researches asked people of all age ranges, but honestly, I’m not surprised.

I would have answered the same.

Christians (just like most of the rest of the population) ARE judgmental. 


Sure, sometimes it comes from a passion for the truth. We want to see God’s laws upheld and we’re not afraid to fight for what we believe in.

But not always.

Sometimes (often times), it’s because we’re prideful, stubborn, and ignorant about what life is really like for other people both inside and outside of our church walls.

(Myself included.)


*This post contains affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase, I may make a small commission at no additional cost to you. This helps cover the many costs of running this site and allows me to help provide for my growing family. Thank you!


What Does the Bible Say About Hating the Sin but Loving the Sinner?

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Have you ever wondered, How can I love people AND tell them that their sin is wrong? Or has someone told you that you’re too judgmental? How can you love others and stand up for God’s teachings?

My latest book is all about how to follow Jesus’ command to love others, right down in the nitty gritty of your daily life.

I’d love for you to check out this new book, Follow God’s Will: Biblical Guidelines for Everyday Life, along with the Follow God’s Will companion workbook.

Practical, encouraging, and full of biblical truth, Follow God’s Will is designed to help you answer questions including:

  • What does God want me to do?
  • How do I apply the Bible’s instructions to my life today?
  • Where is God calling me personally?
  • How can I make a difference right where I am?
  • How should I navigate relationships with those who think, act, or believe differently than I do?
  • And so many more!

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The Difference Between Judging and Being Judgmental


Before we dive into why being judgmental is a problem and the practical steps we can take to stop being so judgmental, however, we have to make a distinction.

You see, there is a BIG difference between simply judging/discerning a situation and being judgmental towards another person/situation.


Both the Bible and common sense tell us we should judge — in the sense of using discerning right/wrong or making wise decisions. 

We do this when we teach our children not to get in vans with strangers, when we steer clear of co-workers who constantly cause drama, when we stage an intervention for friends and family members who are making poor choices, and when we bring alleged criminals in front of judges for sentencing.

This is judging (discerning), and this is wise and good.

I have a whole article on why this type of judging is right and necessary (complete with lots of Bible verses) here: Yes, Christians Should Judge



Furthermore, it is NOT “being judgmental” to lovingly, yet firmly, warn friends and family that they are making unwise decisions that could get them into trouble.

We SHOULD confront friends and family members who are making poor choices — when it is appropriate to do so. And the video above has TONs of great advice on when you should/should not say something.


Today, however, I’m talking specifically about “being judgmental” in the sense of: “Regarding someone as ‘less than’ — either because of choices they have made or attributes/situations they have no control over.”

This type of judgement IS a problem… and it’s one many, many of us are guilty of way more often than we’d like to admit.


Are You Too Judgmental?


So, are you guilty of being judgmental when you shouldn’t be?


Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does it make you uncomfortable when others make choices you don’t agree with?
  • Does it make you angry or uncomfortable when others believe differently than you?
  • Do you ever offer unsolicited advice or feedback?
  • How is your advice/feedback received? Do others appear receptive, or do they appear uncomfortable or defensive?
  • Do you become upset when others don’t follow your advice?
  • Do you ever have negative thoughts about people you don’t even know in real life?
  • Do you ever assume someone is “good” or “bad” based on very little information? (ex. they don’t take their kids to church, so obviously, they’re a “bad” mom)
  • Do you justify your evaluations because “well, it’s true” or “well, God’s Word clearly says…”
  • Are you more likely to view others negatively than positively?


Sure, you may be doing it because you love and care about the other person and only want what’s best for them. Maybe because you’re very passionate about God’s Word. Or maybe it’s just a bad habit you’ve developed.

Either way, it’s important to remember: The only person you are 100% responsible for is yourself

Yes, you may have an obligation to love and care and speak up when necessary (see the video above before you do!), but if you’re trying to control others’ actions or beliefs, you aren’t being loving, you’re being self-righteous and controlling. 

And no one wants that!


How to Stop Being So Judgmental


Okay, so let’s say you realize you have a bad habit of being judgmental…

You expect others to follow your advice, your opinions, or your personal interpretation of right/wrong, and now you want to stop.

Here’s how to do just that…


1. Pay Attention and Call Yourself Out


Because judgmental attitudes can often start from a place of caring or from a passion for certain values, you might not even realize just how judgmental you’re being.

This is why, the FIRST thing you need to do is to start paying attention to the behavior, noticing when you act judgmental, and looking for patterns.


  • Are there certain people or types of people you tend to be more judgmental of? (Perhaps a certain race, income level, profession, disability, hobby or interest?)
  • Are there specific places or situations where you tend to be more judgmental? (Maybe at church, school, volunteer opportunities, or people in the media?)
  • What specific negative thoughts are popping into your head?


Start paying attention. Depending on how often you have these judgmental thoughts and attitudes, you may want to take note for a couple of weeks or even a couple of months to really figure out the patterns.


2. Challenge These Thoughts and Beliefs


Once you have been able to pinpoint exactly which people or situations tend to trigger judgmental thoughts for you, it’s time to challenge the validity of these judgments to see how much weight they hold. (Probably not much).

For example:

  • Are all (people of a certain race) really (negative attribute)?
  • Are all (people who voted differently than I did) really (negative attribute)? Every single one of them? Or is it possible they simply see the world a different way, due to their unique priorities and life experiences?
  • Is she really a terrible person, or is it possible she just holds a different belief than me on this one point, for reasons I may not understand yet?
  • Does this trait actually matter? Do I really think I’m *better* than them because of this?
  • Am I actually concerned for their well-being, or am I just offended/uncomfortable and being selfish/self-centered/controlling?


Many times, if you step back and challenge the thoughts and beliefs that pop into your head, you may find that your judgmental thoughts are rooted in something far different than you realized.

This step alone can really help you stop being so judgmental.


*Related Reading: How to Take Every Thought Captive to Christ


3. Be Willing to Give the Benefit of the Doubt


In addition to challenging your judgmental thoughts, it can also be incredibly helpful to get in the habit of giving others the benefit of the doubt.

In other words, when you see others making a mistake/sinning/failing, etc… Instead of condemning them for their sin (even though you don’t have all the information), you choose to believe that they are a work in progress and that there are factors you don’t know.


For example:

  • For the woman with the out-of-control kids at church: “She’s probably doing her best. Maybe something happened at home. Maybe the kids are struggling with things I don’t know about.”
  • For someone who seems to have no ambition/motivation: “Maybe they gave it their all, and nothing worked out through no fault of their own. Maybe there is nothing more they can do right now, so they are waiting.”
  • For someone who is extremely rude to others: “Maybe they have a very deep hurt I know nothing about. Maybe they never had positive role models to look up to. Maybe something is going on that is causing them extra stress.”


Could the person just be a jerk? Yes, absolutely.

But the thing is: If you don’t know the WHOLE story for sure, then you don’t know the whole story for sure. 

Why not just give them the benefit of the doubt, and go on your merry way? It doesn’t hurt anything, even if it’s not true, and it makes life that much easier and better to just choose to believe good.


(Obviously, if it IS a person you know well and they are just a jerk, it’s okay to distance yourself. This post on dealing with toxic friends and family members addresses this more. You might find this post on setting Biblical Boundaries helpful as well.)


4. Remember Your Own Faults and Failings


Often times, when people say “It’s not my place to judge,” they are basing it on Matthew 7:1, which states: “Do not judge so that you will not be judged.”

However, this is only part of the story.


As I share in my post, Yes, Christians Should Judge, if you read the passage in context,

“In this oft-quoted passage, Jesus wasn’t saying “Don’t judge ever.” Instead, he was telling the hypocritical Pharisees, who LOVED to catch others breaking the law: “tend to your own sins first, and then you’ll be in a better condition to address others’ sins.””


This is because, when we remember that we are ALLL just works in progress, we naturally begin to have more compassion and understanding for others.

When we remember our sins, failings and short-comings, it reminds us that no one is perfect, and we all need grace.


NOT that there isn’t a time to step-up and say something. Sometimes we do need to confront friends and family members in sin.

But we should always do it with the humility that comes from an attitude of “Hey, I don’t have it all together either, but I love you, care about you, and want to help you out.”


(And sometimes, just realizing how far you still have to go yourself is enough to make you not want to confront the other person in the first place)


And here’s another podcast you might find really helpful as well: “Are You Too Controlling?”


5. Choose to Deliberately Think Positive Thoughts Instead


As I mentioned earlier, while our judgment can come from a place of caring/compassion or from a place of passion for the truth, sometimes it can just come down to habit.

We get so used to thinking negative thoughts about certain people, that we start to do it without even realizing it.

That’s why it’s SO important to take step #1 above and recognize our behavior. And THEN also deliberately choose to replace our negative thoughts with positive ones.


For example:

  • Instead of thinking, “She’s wearing that to church??” choose to think, “I’m so glad she could make it today!”
  • Instead of thinking, “Wow, he’s overweight,” choose to notice something nice about his appearance or personality. (Bonus points if you tell them!)
  • Instead of thinking, “Why is she so obsessed with her stupid home business?” choose to think, “That’s so great that she found something she’s so passionate about!”


Of course, these are just a few examples. But just as you’ve created a habit of thinking negative thoughts, you can just as easily create a NEW habit of thinking (and sharing!) positive thoughts!


Will your friends and family always do things the way you want them to? Nope. But it’s their life. They are a human being, and they are allowed to make their own decisions and learn from their own mistakes.

Just like you are allowed to as well.


Ready to Dive Deeper Into Love (and not judgment)?

Follow God's Will Book and Workbook

Want to learn more about how loving others answers God’s call for your life? Need some amazing examples of godly women pouring out love, right where they are? Looking for practical tips so you can do the same?

If you answered yes to any of those, I’d love for you to check out my brand new book, Follow God’s Will: Biblical Guidelines for Everyday Life, along with the Follow God’s Will companion workbook.

Practical, encouraging, and full of biblical truth, Follow God’s Will is designed to help you answer questions including:

  • What does God want me to do?
  • How do I apply the Bible’s instructions to my life today?
  • Where is God calling me personally?
  • How can I make a difference right where I am?
  • How should I navigate relationships with those who think, act, or believe differently than I do?
  • And so many more!

Want to start reading for free?

Simply enter your first name and email below, and I’ll send you an exclusive “first-peek” right away, right to your inbox!


Do you struggle with judgmental thoughts or behaviors? (It’s okay to admit it! I do!) Which step above do you think will be most helpful for you today?

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Brittany Ann is an ECPA bestselling author and founder of Equipping Godly Women and Monetize My Ministry. She’s also a Christian speaker, podcaster, and conference host. Her work has been featured on numerous TV, radio, and online ministries, including CBN, MSN, Christianity Today, Evangelical Alliance, Patheos, Crosswalk, and more.

Brittany Ann Equipping Godly Women

About the author

Brittany Ann is an ECPA bestselling author of “Fall in Love with God’s Word” and “Follow God’s Will” and the founder of, a popular Christian-living website dedicated to helping busy Christian moms find practical ways to go "all in" in faith and family. Her work has been featured on CBN, The Christian Post, Crosswalk, and more.

  1. Thank you for this I was researching "being judgemental" because the spirit pointed it out to me.. and I'm all for correction.. I started sensing that I am judgemental and if I want to do God's work I have to correct this.. becoming more humble.. you have pointed out some great tips.. God bless you and keep up the great work in your ministry..

    1. Hello, Alonya! I am so glad you found the article helpful. I think we can ALL use a little work on this. And there's tons of helpful tips to help us out. Thanks for the kind words, too!

  2. I wanted to wish my great nephew happy birthday but he had blocked me on Facebook and Messenger. My daughter told me it might be because my religious posts might come across as judgmental if you aren’t a believer.
    My nephew accepted Christ at an early age but now he claims to be an atheist…so does his younger brother, dad, and step-dad.
    His mom (my sister) was saved at an early age than married an atheist, divorced and married another atheist. Then she searched our native Indian branch of the family tree and became interested in their beliefs in spirits.
    My sister committed suicide two years ago today on my nephew’s birthday. The family believes their is no connection between her picking this day and his birthday but more to do with New Years…she was a trouble soul. Rape, unwed pregnant teen, etc…she complained of many demons…
    Thank you for letting me ramble.

    1. Rhonda, thank you for sharing. I’m so sorry about your sister. I’m also sorry about your nephew’s reaction towards you. It’s tough when you aren’t even able to send an encouraging message to family members. I think this article encourages us to take a closer look at how we might be perceived by others even if that isn’t what we mean to be saying or implying. It’s definitely eye opening and something to pray about.

  3. Thanks you for this article. I grew up in a very judgmental household. The denomination I was raised in is very much “judge others based on their clothes, what you see and hear at church etc.”. Over time of being an adult and learning on my own and honestly being loved on by non judgmental Christians and also seeing the reaction from people based on how I’ve judged them I have been learning how to get out of the toxic judgmental situation. This article was very helpful. My parents still very much judge me and it’s important that I am not like this . This article really brought out good ways to ensure you really are not being judgmental and I honestly wish I had found it sooner .

  4. I have struggled with being judgmental most of my life. And I mean struggled. I have identified it as a sin a long time ago and have been trying to overcome it since. I still find myself getting caught in it. It is shameful to me. The root is of course pride. Jesus said "Unless you become like little children you will not enter the kingdom of Heaven". I observed several remarkably happy people in the past and tried to figure out why they were so happy. They did not judge. They genuinely accepted others with a joyful attitude. We are actually punishing our own hearts when we judge.
    A couple of quick "rules of thumb" to fight against my tendency to judge are these: The Bible says "do not look only to your own interests but also to the interests of others". When I was a boy I spent a lot of time alone. My dad intervened and told me, "Boy, take an interest in people." I have reminded myself of that throughout my life. It became a habit. It's a very good habit.
    Another one was when someone noticed that I enjoy the company of children. They said, "picture grownups as children so you can love and enjoy them like you do children" That was another great piece of advise. And one that just makes so much sense, "When you are loving someone you are too busy to judge them".
    These things don't cure a judgmental spirit. But by God's grace as I continue to battle against it, someday, maybe I can become like a little child.

    1. Thank you for sharing. Those are some great tips to help take the focus off of judging other people so that you can love other people the way Jesus loves each of us.

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