Recently, I embarked on a 40-day judgment fast. I quickly discovered several new ways to tell if I was in judgment that I never considered before. I am in no way an expert on the subject, but I do know how to navigate through both tough and subtle emotions. Here are a few things I've come to realize.
I judge more often than I ever realized
The solitude that stems from COVID19 provided an opportunity to hear my soul in ways that I couldn't hear in busier seasons
Judging carries with it the idea of assigning a value of superiority and inferiority
Superiority and Inferiority generate EMOTION
Pay attention to the emotion accompanying pride and you'll know if you're in judgment
In the book "Gracism" by Dr. David A. Anderson, he touched on superiority and inferiority within the concept of racism. I had one of those moments where I was able to identify with the emotion that accompanies superiority and inferiority. This was a new concept even for me.
Many people have been taught that you can't trust your emotions and inadvertently thrown out the baby with the bathwater. Our emotions serve a purpose. They allow us to feel love and joy. They can serve as an indicator for danger. They can alert us to emotional pain in our lives that needs to be acknowledged and processed. This is where some get stuck. If you were taught not to trust your emotions, you may not have been taught what to do when negative emotions surfaces.
When David denied his lust for Bathsheba, he fell into sin. Nowhere in scripture are we told to suppress negative emotions and "act as if" our hearts are pure. It is possible to do the right thing and yet our hearts remain in an evil condition. Evil hides in darkness. When we fake it, we risk our hearts and actions being exposed, just like David.
Nowhere does it say in the Bible to ignore or deny negative emotions. Instead, we're told to come before the throne of grace to receive help in our time of need. Our emotional hearts need His help! Jesus, never modeled denial of His emotions. Instead, because He expressed what was in His heart, He was able to go to the cross. That's where we can take our judging ways also.
Because I was doing a 40-day judgment fast, I was primed to "feel" the emotion of superiority. I also became aware of the emotion connected to judging myself as inferior or less than another person. You know what I mean. It's the idea of being "better than" that's rooted in comparison, competition, and pride. It's also the idea of "not being good enough" which is linked to shame.
So what should you do? I highly recommend doing your own 40-day judgment fast. You will be surprised at often you judge yourself and others. If you decide to accept this challenge, I promise it will be a good cleansing for the soul.
.Become Aware or Mindful. Mindfulness is the act of becoming more aware of in the moment. It sounds simple enough but in practice requires some effort.
.Keep a Daily Record. Divide your journal into 4 categories
Myself, Family and Friends, Leaders, and Other. Use Other when you're not sure a judgment fits neatly into one of the other three. Be sure to include the date.
.When you notice you've judged someone or something pay attention to the emotion that is attached to it. Become familiar with it long enough to recognize it next time you slip into judgment.
. Ask God to let you see things from His perspective. It's that easy.
At first, you won't necessarily pick up on subtle, unspoken, unexpressed, hidden forms of judging. Just stick with it! It'll come. And it'll come with emotions! Not only will you recognize the emotions of pride and shame, but you might also feel bad about not seeing it before.
Once you get the hang of it, you'll be able to spot those nasty little buggers more quickly. You may even find yourself repenting three or four times a day for a while. If you forget for a day or two, no big deal, just get back on the horse. By the end of 40 days, you'll notice a purity of heart like never before.
Lisa is a faith and transformation coach. If you'd like to work with her one on the one, you can contact her through this website. https://www.ptcenter.life/
She also has a therapeutic deck of cards to help you process tough emotions as a result of anxiety and unprocessed trauma. You can learn more about them by clicking on the Cut Card link above.