The judgment of others is a surface echo of a judgment that goes deeper. So if we’re living in an environment or we are in a relationship that feeds this fear of judgment with constant judging, we deflate and detach because it becomes discouragingly exhausting trying to satisfy the demands and appease the judgment of the other. We become depleted of the hope that we can ever attain the affirmation that seems so necessary for us to live and breathe and so the relationship flounders.
The fact is, that relational demand always creates relational detachment. Control produces relational chaos, criticism produces relational commotion.
Most preachers and parents, spouses and siblings, fall prey to the false idea that real change happens when we lay down the law, exercise control, demand good performance, and offer constant constructive criticism. When we do this, we are failing to acknowledge the obvious: “Judgment kills. Only grace makes alive.” We wonder why our spouse, or our children, or our friends, or our colleagues, or our congregants become relationally and emotionally detached from us. It’s because we are feeding their deep fear of judgment by playing the judge, by being the voice of law.
Read More at Tullian Tchvidjian's Gospel Coalition blog