Pause + Pray

Judging Yourself

Man writing in a notebook


Most of us have a voice inside that is often critical. It is a voice that says: “You don’t know what you’re doing,” “Well, that was a stupid thing to say,” or even “How could anyone possibly love you?” Clearly, that is a voice that is not of God. God is there to help us learn to challenge that voice, to not automatically agree with it. Yes, we are called to face and work on our faults but not from a position of harsh judgment.


Help me to learn to recognize and challenge
the inner voice that judges me harshly.
For when I judge myself harshly,
I have removed myself from your presence.
Help me remember that Jesus
did not judge the woman caught in adultery
and about to be stoned to death.
He simply encouraged her to change.


In a journal, write down some of your common self-criticisms. Then take a few moments to write a challenge in response. For example, if the voice says, “Well, that was stupid,” perhaps you could write down: “It was a mistake. Nothing more. Let me see if I can learn something from it.”

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