26 answers

Dealing with Judgemental People in Church

How do you deal with people at church being so judge mental? I love my church and our new Pastor, and I do not want to go to any other church. Yet my heart hurts that I always feel talked about, or not as good as others at church. Yes I'm praying, but I don't know how long I ccan hold on!

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Well, I did exactly what some of you suggested. I called the person I thought was doing the talking. I told her I was sorry if I had done anything to hurt her or offend her. She said she excepted and was sorry if she had done anything to hurt me. I hope from here on out everything is better! I still kind of feel like I want to stay to my self from here on out. This just hurt way to bad.

More Answers

Hi D.,

I couldn't pass up responding to your letter. First let me start by saying "I understand completely!" I too have had first hand experiences with people in church being mean and nasty, judgemental and critical...sometimes right to my face! My kids have been rejected, hurt, left out and felt the pain as they watched the kids that called themselves "friends" do things to purposley "one up" and hurt them. Many times I have asked myself...why am I here? Why am I doing this? And I keep coming back to the same thing...hurting people hurt people. Now that doesn't make it any easier, but we have to find that place inside of us that says, "I am confident enough in myself to know that anything those "nice" people might say to me is because they have their own issues that they are dealing with". People are mean and judgemental because they don't feel good about themselves...or they are jealous...or they are going through a hard time too! It's so hard to be able to stand on top of it and find that place where you actually have compassion towards the other people...but you really need to know that 9 times out of 10 YOU are NOT the problem! It's called "projection"....I don't feel good about myself and I see things in you that remind me of the things that I don't want to deal with in my own life...so instead of dealing with MY issues...I pick on YOURS! Then I feel better! It's ironic...isn't it? I have also found that it seems that I begin to feel a tremendous amount of pressure to BOLT or to ROLL OVER just before God opens a new door to me. There is direct resistance to my spiritual walk trying to inhibit me from actually making it to the "other side". God give us grace. Consider the fact that God has a special plan for you in your church with your new Pastor. Listen to your heart and follow your peace. You will know when it's time to go...but don't leave because of "people". Leave because you know God has opened the next door and it's time to go. Find a place to get involved in your church and use your gifts and talents...find your PASSION! And let it shine! I pray for God's grace over you! By the way...I'm a Pastor's wife...(smile)

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Hi D.,
I am a pastor's wife and have been at the receiving end of someone's judgement. People are going to continue to walk in human weaknesses and continue to judge regardless of what the Word teaches us. All churches have judemental people in the pews so my advice to you is bless them. It's hard, but forgiveness isn't about them saying 'I'm sorry' to you it's about you saying 'I love youw and bless you' to them. If their judement remains constant it's discord and it leads to bitterness then to anger and if no one will deal with the problem perhaps it is time to find another church where peace and unity is more abundant. You will eventually become consumed with the same spirit and it could lead to your spiritual distruction. Have you considered speaking to your pastor about this? You could be the catalist for this change.
I pray you will find peace either in your church or another.
K. D.

2 moms found this helpful


I have been raised in church, and I love being in God's presence too. However, judgmental and church should not be in the same sentence - sadly it happens. You may love your new pastor and that's great - but if you are feeling talked about etc...in my opinion you have two options. 1. Confront the issue with the person/people that are talking about you and/or 2. Find a church home that you can feel truly at home at.

Be blessed and highly favored,


2 moms found this helpful

Unfortunately what you are experiencing happens in so many churches. You can either ask to speak with the people that are talking about you and set things right (communication is the key) or you can forget about them and go to church to worship and focus on the Lord, ignoring what's going on. This is very hard. I know you are supposed to have a group of believers to help and encourage you and worship as a body, but this is rare in today's church (which is super discouraging).
Be diligent and with perseverance God will bring you peace. Focus on Him. He is the one that matters.
Gob bless.

1 mom found this helpful

I'm late -- the kids need breakfast -- but I had to respond very quickly to a complex question.

Human beings are pre-wired to be judgmental. Sometimes that could be a life saving attribute and also helpful to keep members in society "in check" -- avoiding the temptations of sinful behavior.

Many times we must examine our own feelings & thoughts and not allow ourselves to judge others without compassion or harshly.

I LOVE attending church because the people who attend each Sunday know they are flawed & they need help from God. They admit it -- openly & honestly -- by their simple presence each week.

I have many friends who DO NOT attend church because they say the churches are filled with "hypocrites." Of course, it is so much easier to say that and not rise on Sunday mornings and attend church. Of course, it is also easier to point out another person's flaws rather than look at our own flaws.

But, overall, I concentrate on God & think about how he judges me & not what other human beings around me think. Constantly, I pray that God will make me strong to DO what he wants and BE what he wants.

Your focus right now seems to be on "humans." Put your focus on God. Also, you never know -- and we are creatures of habit, so I understand you do not want to change churches. But pray about it -- nevertheless. sometimes if you do not feel right in one church there is another church you are supposed to be attending. It took me many years to realize I was supposed to be attending a different House of God's.

Don't let people stand in the way of your relationship with God.

1 mom found this helpful

Sorry you feel this way...
I've been in church my whole life. My grandfather has been a pastor for 35 years. He started in one church and it was our families home church. After he retired he, along with our whole family, got pushed to the side and treated differently. I thought it would go away. My grandpa came out of retirement to a new church. I had grown up in the first church, so my husband and I decided to try and stay there since the "gossip" wasn't geared specifically towards us. We mainly attended my home church for about a year and went to my grandpa's new church once a week for a service. Everyone at the new church was so inviting and kind and my husband and I noticed and like it. We didn't want to change churches but felt more at home. We prayed and prayed about it and now (before we moved) attend the church my grandpa currently pastors.
Definatly keep praying about it. If the people at this church hinder your worship, pray harder! Only God knows!

1 mom found this helpful

I am also a stay at home mom of 2 with one on the way. I am a regular church goer who knows all about "church folk." Paul incourages us to let nothing seperate us from the love of God. As Christians we are always being judged. outside and inside the church. This is hurtful becuse we don't expect to be treated this way from those who are suppose to love and encourage us. CONTINUE to pray and read Romans 8:38,39 and no matter what others say let no one seperate you or take you out of the church

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WOW! You're right, you know. There is not a single church that you will find where no one is judgemental. It was like this even in Jesus' day. You know, he called the church leaders a bunch of snakes! Some people still are. Please realize that you don't have to be "good enough" for those judgemental people. Jesus loves you no matter who or what you are. He loves you no matter what station you have in life. He just wants a willing heart. If you give him that, He can use you. He loves you just as you are. Please remember not to let yourself get caught up in the gossip chain, too. It only took a few phone calls for my church people to realize that I would not listen to their talking about others, neither would I contribute. Now, the only calls I get are from my prayer chain leader or from someone else asking for prayer. Sure, they're going to talk about you because you are different. God called us to be set apart, to be different, to be a witness even through our lifestyles and choices. Otherwise, if we are just like everybody else, what would attract the ungodly to us, and ultimately to Jesus? Celebrate your Godly differences and snuggle up to Jesus! God bless you and hold you close as you endeavor to make sense of why so-called Christians treat others wrongly. I'm so sorry for that and will pray with you about it. (I'm a stay at home mom of 3 girls and just started a home business. Glad I saw you out here!)

1 mom found this helpful

I am sorry that you feel people are judgemental in your church. I guess we are all a little judgemental about others. The real reason we go to church is to worship God and praise him so please keep going to church and pray for those that you feel are being judgemental. Ask God to help you rise above unkind people and focus on him. Pray you will keep going to church and believing in God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Love, C.

1 mom found this helpful

Are you sure they are talking about you?
Find the passage in the bible (Judge no that you not be judge) ALso(he who has no sin throw the first stone) in clide book and verse and line. You couldmake some cut litle hand outs and give them to the judges
BE DARN SURE THAT THEY ARE JUDGING YOU or you'll look like a stuck up fool Why do you care what they think: are the on duty at the heavenly gate?

1 mom found this helpful

Put your faith where it counts in Jesus; pray and leave it in God's hands. When we, too, point the finger are we not also guilty? Might this be an opportunity for growing one's faith?

A little about myself also,
I too need the constant reminder to 'pray and leave it in God's hand'.

I am also a stay at home mom with two children 7 and 5. I Choose not to home school having a wonderful charter school close by.

1 mom found this helpful

D. - I have been a single Mom now for 5 years to 3 wonderful children.

My husband & I were baptised on the same day. We dedicated our children when they were all really young. Then out of the blue he ups and leaves me our children were 3, 4 & 6.

I did not go to church for almost a year. Some churches did not welcome me as I had "No husband" to lead me! I have been through 3 other Baptist churches since then and I finally found a church that is a true gift from God. I switched denominations to a "Church of God" church and boy what a difference.

D. I finally was home for the first time in 45 years. These wonderful people are the most genuine, loving, sweet, helpful, gracious spirit filled christians I have EVER known.

If you feel like you say you do - then there are only 2 answers I can offer you. Pray for God to guide you to another church, then you can experience other things and see if you fit in. Or if you do change churches and you still feel the same way then ask God to change your outlook and heal you of your fears. God just cares that you go to church - NO one has the right to voice their opinons about you if you do not ask them to.

You say you love your church - but what exactly do you love? the location, the size, the programs, the pews. OK that was a little harsh but that is not what it is all about at the ned of the day. I go to draw nearer to God, to be surrounded by like minded people.

Tonight we are having a prayer night at my church, I will pray for you I promise.

Kind regards

M. F

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As someone who grew up in church, I sadly know that what you are suffering happens all too often. The Bible says that when you are having this kind of disagreement with a fellow believer, you should first talk to the person in private. If they do not accept what you are saying or get defensive, then you should get another person to come with you while you try to talk to them again. If they are still unresponsive then you should take the matter up with your pastor. He should know how to approach the subject.

I fell away from church for a long time because of these types of behaviors. Recently I found a fantastic church and have become very involved. I love it. I haven't encountered any judgement or scorn. Everyone there has always been very friendly and gracious. I know that you are not wanting to switch, but if you are not getting the spiritual uplifting that every mom needs, then you may have to. It couldn't hurt to try a new place. You can look up my church at newseason.cc I've been to lots fo churches and been around lots of judgemental so-callled christians. I walked into New Season expecting more of the same, and it wasn't there. I hope you can resolve your problems within your current church, but please know that you and your are always welcome at New Season.

1 mom found this helpful

It's so sad that the one place you think you're safe from harsh words is the place where they exist the most. There are only 2 routes to go in this situation. One, you accept that you can't control people, what they say, or what they think and you let it roll off your back. The other option is to face your problem (the gossip). Just put it out there to the person directly that you feel there is an uncomfortable situation going on and ask if there is something you did to make them not like you. They MIGHT feel embarassed that you picked up on their behavior and hopefully change.

Have you talked to your pastor yet? I'm sure he/she would have some very encouraging words for you~

1 mom found this helpful

I suppose it depends on what they are judging you on. If you feel you are doing the right thing for your family, you have to learn not to care what other people think. Search in your heart why it bothers you so much-- do you think they may be right about what they are saying about you? If not, try to figure out some other reason why you care so much.

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As Christians we are supposed to go to church for the purpose of joining with others in a group setting to worship the Lord as a group. It is supposed to be just another venue for our personal experience with God. There is nowhere in the Bible that would give the notion that during our church worship times we are to subject ourselves to the sort of emotional pain that you are experiencing.

I am wondering what is it about your church that you love, since you come away feeling talked about and not as good as the others.

If you have not already sat down with your pastor, that would be the best place to start: hopefully he will be honest with you and let you know if there is something in your behavior that invites this type of snubbing. Also he needs to be made aware of what his flock is doing to one another (and you can be certain that if this is happening to you it is also happening to others). I would talk to your pastor and give him a chance to fix things... it might take a little time, but it would be good to at least try to work to improve the situation.

Otherwise maybe it's time to find a new church. There are so many -- even though it is easier to not move on, there are times in our lives when moving is really the best answer: people who gossip and demean others are not behaving as the Bible teaches (see 1 Cor) and being a part of that group is not helping your spiritual growth in the Lord, is it??

I do hope for the best for you!! The first few times I tried to go to church I felt very judged etc -- but at the time I was not saved, and although it would have been nice if someone had reached out to me no one came anywhere near me, so I quit bothering with it...... many years later I did actually wander into a church where I was not only accepted but welcomed, and I accepted the Lord as my Savior and well we all know the rest of the story!!!

I have on occasion seen this type of superior attitudes toward other church members, and being rather bold and unafraid I have spoken to the offenders about it... surprisingly some people are not even aware of how judgemental they come across to others. Jesus wants us to be peacemakers (Matt 6) and sometimes that means doing what is very difficult and uncomfortable.

Discussing your feelings with your pastor and his wife would be the best place to start. Being honest with him is important if you want to grow and improve the situation.

1 mom found this helpful

Dear D., How wonderful that you can be a stay at home mom and homeschool your children. You are doing the most important job in the world, raising children to be good citizens and to love God. You mentioned you like to go to church to be in the presence of God. When we seek God we are always in His presence so that can be home the park and when we take time to meditate and pray. People will always disappoint us but the Words of God are where we find solace. Perhaps you feel this discontentment because you are meant to be on a spiritual journey and are questioning the hypocrisy of judgemental christians. Know that God created you noble and try to detach yourself from the negative thoughts of feeling you are being judged. If that doesn't work, then maybe you do need to leave that church. That door is closing for you and you are ready to open another door. Here is a prayer that I always find helpful:

O God! Refresh and gladden my spirit. Purify my heart. Illumine my powers. I lay all my affairs in Thy hand. Thou art my Guide and my Refuge. I will no longer be sorrowful and grieved; I will be a happy and joyful being. O God! I will no longer be full of anxiety, nor will I let trouble harass me. I will not dwell on the unpleasant things of life.
O God! Thou art more friend to me than I am to myself. I dedicate myself to Thee, O Lord.

1 mom found this helpful

This is really a difficult situation to understand the why and how people who attend church can be so cruel to others. I have had this experience over the years as well as my daughter. So please know that others have had to deal with this kind of thing too. There aren't any easy answers but I admire you for home schooling (so does my daughter) and for wanting Christian friends. Please know that it probably isn't anything you have done but if you have just moved to the area or to this church some people may think they don't need any more friends so they won't reach out to you. Please try to hang in there and do what you know is right, keep your eyes on the Lord and pray for those who aren't very nice to you. I don't know if this helps but at least I know what you are going through.

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Have you considered talking with your Pastor about how you're feeling and why ? Ask him if he would consider doing a sermon on "Love Thy Neighbor (and Church Family ) as Thyself." Gossiping about anybody is a sin, although it is Human nature, it doesn't make it right. anD HE COULD ALSO REMIND THE cONGREGATION AS A WHOLE ,IN GOD'S EYES WE ARE ALL EQUAL. In the meantime , pray, pray pray. Also remember that alot of times people forget Church is God's House and They are guests and should treat each other with respect even if someone doesn't agree with ,or particularly like someone. As Christians, we should be setting an example, especially around people who aren't yet Christians. If they see or hear this behavior in church , what a contradiction to what a Christian is supposed to be. Just know in your own heart, God is the Only one we have to answer to in the end and I think people lose sight of that. As was suggested, also pray for the people/person who makes you feel this way. If you have it in you (and pray for it if you don't) to approach the people or person who is causing you the hurt and ask them why they feel the way they do, or ask your Pastor to intervene. No one ,(bottom line) should keep you away from church . If none of the above is possible for you ,find another church home ,where you'll be happier and more receptive to what God has in store for you. It's hard to go to Church, feeling this way and not be able to receive the Joy you should feel . I'll keep you in my prayers , C. S.

1 mom found this helpful

Dear Sister-in-Christ,
Remember that you are a Child of God, and church is a place to give God praise and glory. It is not about you, the people or the pastor.
With a Heart of Worship, we do not think of ourselves, how we feel about ourselves and how others feel about us. This is God's time. Put everything else aside and surrender to him during that time. If you must fellowship with others (ministry work) know that you are doing that for God also. If there are people in the church (and every church has them) that are gossiping, being judgemental, then He will deal with them. YOu just remember who you are in Christ...obey and honor him.

God Bless.

1 mom found this helpful

My best advice would be to pray and ask the Lord to help your feelings not to overcome you. Sometimes when we go with our feelings they can lead us the wrong way. Pray for the people you feel are talking about you. The more you pray for them and ask God to bless them. This will help to release any ill feelings you have toward them.

1 mom found this helpful

I am going through the same thing but the comments are made to my face. My husband and I just had a new baby 5 months ago. One of the elder ladies there told me we were mean because we let her sit in her car seat during the service and we don't hold her. Then she went on to ask me if we ever hold her at home! You can imagine how upset I am! I told her I wanted to speak with her but she bolted out the door as soon as church was over and I didn't get to tell her how offensive she was to me.

Hi my name is C. and i no how you feel i was at a big church family chritian center i stopped going you feel like no-one has your back and it is sad it's like if you don't look like them you are out and they have click;s if you aren't in they click it's too bad and how dare you talk about the church they don't want to hear it i say to you follow your heart if it pain you that bad you shouldn't be there it's other church's who would apprciate you for the person you are well if you want to e-mail me cool ____@____.com underscorebetween faith and boss it hurt's alot but move- on to better god wouldn't want you to hurt like that

OMG, people from the churches or going to the church all the time really really really need to wake up and realized that THEY ARE EXTREMELY JUDGMENTAL. They need to know that by going to the church doesn't mean that they are the GOD, so that they can judge people anyway they want. I avoid anyone who is crazy about church and talk Bible to me all the time. They are very extreme and always use their eye contacts and body language to judge you while they talk all nice and pronouncing every single word like you are deaf. There is nothing in the bible teaches people to be judgmental. My suggestion is don't engage in any groups of people who is extreme in one way of thinking. There is honestly no extreme right or wrong in this world. Try to make friends from different groups, that's a much better way to understand life and interact with people around you.

You're not the only woman who has ever been talked about in church, it happens in all places of worship. If you're a newcomer to that specific church, they're going to judge you. Especially the older women who've been there for a long time and don't want anybody to "mess up" the way outsiders view religious people. But in doing this, they're making religious people look judge mental and just plain rude. God gives endless chances, and I have come to believe some women take that for granted. Stay strong girl, its just as much your church as theirs.

I have gone through the same thing as you. The hard part for me is the pastor of the church is family and they have been so judgemental because my 21 year old daughter got pregnant and is not married. They act like they have never heard of someone making a mistake. They gossip and are mean spirited. My daughter and I have decided not to ever go back there. It is sad but it is not worth going if you get a negitive feeling from the church. Who are they to judge? Find another church sometimes you haave to keep looking there are good and bad ones. Keep your head high and remember they are just unhappy and mean spirited,

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