As leaders in youth ministry my husband and I are often confided in and, sometimes, it’s hard to listen and give advice without having a judgmental demeanor. In a world where kids are taught to be offended by any and everything we want to make sure they are steered down the right path and not turned off from it.
So how do you judge without being judgmental?
1. SPEAK TRUTH ALL THE TIME
One of the easiest ways to judge without being judgmental is to make your stance on what the Bible says very clear from the beginning. Recently in our youth group we had two girls begin to attend who were self-proclaimed lesbians. It would have been easy to shy away from conveying what the Bible says about homosexuality in hopes that they would stay. Instead, we decided to be very upfront with them. They knew that we believed homosexuality was a sin and they knew we believed in purity; so, just like any other high school couple that walked in, their romantic relationship was left at the door. But most importantly, because we spoke truth from the beginning and they knew that we loved both of them, we never had one issue arise from their relationship or our beliefs against it and they got to hear the gospel every Wed night because of it. We must always be prepared with scripture and life experiences that speak truth into these young lives.
2. KNOW THAT NO SIN IS GREATER
This point is two-fold. The first is to know that no sin is greater than another. You might be wondering – how could we allow two lesbians in our youth group?? The answer is simple, they’re sinners in need of a Savior – just like us. Our youth group is full of cheaters, liars, thieves and murderers. And this leads into the second portion – no sin is greater than the grace of Jesus. Jesus paid it ALL! It’s easy to see the sin in another’s life and cast judgement but how easy it is to forget the grace that Christ provides to cover it! Focus less on the sin and focus more on the One who paid the price for that sin!
3. BE LOVING
This last one seems easy, but often it’s the hardest. Just like our Savior, we need to blanket every word, every thought and every action in love. A compassionate spirit and a loving heart are the ultimate guide to showing someone the truth of their actions without being judgmental.