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Dr. Virtue: How Can I Be Less Judgmental?

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Question:

How can I be less judgmental to people around me? And how can I find peace when it is impossible to make amends with someone I wronged, even though I have repented?

McKenzie W.
Draper, Utah

 

Answer:

Judgment is important sometimes because it can keep you safe. And this life requires us to judge every day as we make decisions. But we should always do our best to make judgments with a righteous purpose and not to impact others in hurtful ways.  However, if you find yourself judging someone critically or harshly, you probably simply don’t know them well enough. Get to know them, and your heart will soften towards them as you gain understanding. Judging will always be tricky. The fact is that sometimes in the middle of making a judgment call, we can hurt others. Whether it was on purpose or not, repentance is a good next step. True repentance includes an apology to the person wronged and making our wrong right if we can. It is a bummer if the apology is not accepted. Wouldn’t it be perfect if, when we repent, everyone were eager to forgive? Unfortunately, we don’t get to be in charge of that part of the process. When making a decision, we don’t know how something is going to impact another, and it is ultimately up to the wronged to choose to forgive or not. But the good news for you is that their forgiving you is not part of your repentance process. While it is still hard that a friendship is strained, that is their choice. It certainly does motivate us to try harder not to judge others unnecessarily. In the scriptures, the Savior offers peace and asks us to give our burdens to Him (Matthew 11:30). Perhaps you will find peace in His offer? You also have some spiritual power tools that you can use. You can fast and pray to Heavenly Father, and you can put their and your name in the roles of the temple. You can do this until you receive the results you are looking for. A sincere note and a freshly baked plate of cookies can’t hurt either. 😉

 

Have a question about the gospel, dating, boys, etc. but you don’t know who to ask? Ask Dr. Virtue! All questions can be directed to her at drvirtue@cshinemagazine.com