5 Tips for Loving Others Without Judgment

Loving like Jesus did requires the ability to extend grace–in other words, to love others without judgment. For most of us, this is much easier said than done.

It’s easy to use judgmentalism as a way to mask our own insecurities and elevate ourselves above others. Being judgmental makes us conceited and self-righteous. It’s an addictive delusion that artificially boosts our worth. Never mind the Bible’s words: “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.” This is one hard habit to break.

A judgmental, self-righteous attitude prevents us from giving grace. Luckily, it is possible to shed our judgmental habits and offer more grace to the people we encounter. Let’s talk about how.

1. Don’t criticize or find fault in others

A judgmental attitude is centered on deflection and denial of our own faults. But most of us can’t stop at denying our own shortcomings. We feel the need to criticize others in order to minimize our issues. In other words, we tear others down to build ourselves up.

It’s impossible to give grace and be critical at the same time because judgmentalism negates grace. Acting holier-than-thou will only earn you the same harsh criticism you dole out to others. If you want to love more like Jesus, it’s time to stop nitpicking.

2. Separate the sin from the sinner

No one wants to be defined by their sins–past, present, or future. When we’ve made a poor decision, we crave grace and we demand not to be judged. But when someone else makes a misstep in their life, we’re quick to label them.

It’s easy to be shocked by someone else’s behavior, because we’d never do such a thing–right? But try to imagine yourself in their position. Humanize the sinner, separating their sin from who they are at the core. When you interpret the situation from a place of empathy, you gain an entirely new perspective. Like Jesus, choosing to see the human beneath the ugliness of sin enables us to choose grace.

3. Don’t expect people to earn your respect; give it freely

What makes us believe we’re so far above others that our respect must be earned? Assuming another human being doesn’t deserve our respect means that we’re placing ourselves on a pedestal. If we want to love like Jesus, we must be willing to freely give our respect to others.

Extending respect to the people around us puts us on equal footing with them. It forces us to view them as worthy. Respect raises others from the role of subordinates to peers, which in turn makes it more difficult to judge them harshly.

4. Give others the benefit of the doubt

A judgmental attitude says that people’s actions and choices arise from the worst possible motivations. When we assume the worst of others, we give ourselves a license to judge based on those perceived motivations.

In order to love without judgment, we have to give the benefit of the doubt. We owe it to ourselves and our loved ones to assume the best intentions first. Giving ourselves a chance to consider that our loved ones mean well helps us stay receptive and open–and limits our opportunities to jump to judgmental conclusions.

5. Accept God’s unconditional love for us

I (Les) believe we’re all on a cosmic quest to validate our own worth–to prove not only that we’ve earned it, but that we deserve it. Each person who gives us that validation makes us feel great about ourselves for a little while, but eventually that feeling dissipates. We end up in a continuous loop as we try to achieve that same feeling over and over again.

This is an unfulfilling cycle that keeps us from being able to love the way Jesus did. What’s more, it keeps us from focusing on the unconditional love and validation God offers us. Instead, we try to earn it from Him the way we try to earn it from the people in our lives. Instead of trying to earn God’s acceptance, we need to receive it with open arms–then extend it to others freely.

Put it into practice

Grace is unfair, and it doesn’t make sense. Approaching others without judgment requires that we set aside whether or not they deserve it. Because if we want to love like Jesus, we can’t limit grace–for ourselves or anyone else.

Want to love more like Jesus did?

My new book Love Like That is a deep dive into the 5 steps you and I can follow in order to love more like Jesus. When you pre-order, you’ll get access to bonus resources, including a sneak peek at chapter 1, a 30-day devotional, a free copy of the Deep Love assessment, and more. Get your copy here.

If you’d like to join the Love Like That launch team, sign up here.

What are some things you do to extend grace to those around you? Has another person ever given you radical grace? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

7 Comments

  • Jeremy Tusant says:

    Great stuff Les, working through this with my wife, and then my family. Your blogs have been spot on this summer. Keep up the great Kingdom work!

  • L Hill says:

    Life changing principles. Thank you. I’m very grateful that my husband extended unmerited grace to me. I grew up in a dysfunctional family and didn’t know how to love him, but he continued to love me unconditionally. Through Him, I learned how to love others and to extend grace. What a great man!

  • Mark says:

    Wow – both clear to understand and a tall order to put in practice with EVERYONE, every moment especially those who are judgemental towards you. I especially like the words at the beginning end linking to grace.

  • Hope says:

    In this world, we all are born sinners and naturally self-centered, so Its so easy to say great things but harder to apply. My family and girlfriend and friends all judge, including myself. Everyday i ask God to remove my judgmental concerns & give your eyes amd spirit so i may love uncoditional , but its hard when the people you love replicate the same live, its tormenting and exhausting cycle. This time, instead of expecting respect, and nitpickin, ill give them the benefit of doubt, and seperate the sin from sinner in jesus name under his will. One day at a time ill get better,Instead of trying to earn God’s acceptance, i need to receive it with open arms–then extend it to others freely. . Thanks for word of truth & principles Dr. Les, i truly appreciate and will put into practice in my life!

  • Nnamdi Okoroafor says:

    Quite inspiring were your spirit filled and broken mind’s mending teachings. Plx keep it up.

  • Jennyvie Lofamia says:

    Great!

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