Like it or not, we are judging something all the time. Someone’s clothes … hair … car … house … cleanliness … weight … attitude. Some say it is wrong to judge, that we are not to judge … that judging is up to God. He is the only one who has the right and authority to judge. So they will often quote, “judge not lest ye be judged.”
But in the Bible, we are called as parents to correct our children … to pick elders and church leaders with certain character … to vote for Godly leaders … to judge false Bible teachers … to confront gossiping, addiction, or adulterous behavior … even to be a third party helping settle a dispute between two Christian brothers.
How can we carry out these duties without judging the individuals? What a dilemma … to judge or not to judge. How do we know when to judge and when to sit tight? Sorting out these contradictory instructions and scenarios is complex, and I don’t want to oversimplify, but most can be boiled down to this: 1. What’s at the center of your heart motivating your behavior? and 2. What lenses are you using to assess the situation?
Only God can see into hearts and truly judge the full scope of an event. We can judge conduct, but only hypothesize about the motivation leading to the person’s conduct. God knows everything and judges accurately, impartially, and according to absolute truth. We are too limited to make the same quality judgments. We are called to judge conduct (our next Stepping Stones will look at that element a little more), but not to judge someone’s heart. We do need to make sure our motives for judging conduct are focused on God and our focus is to serve the person we are judging and their “targets”.
Today, try to determine whether you are judging a person’s heart or their conduct. Judging the heart is a dangerous area that needs to be approached with extreme caution. If you are called to judge another person’s conduct, examine your own heart and motives. Are you using me-centered agendas and lenses? Be honest with yourself. When you judge the right things for the right reasons in the right way, a big burden will be lifted. You will experience freedom in your relationships. Once you have the judgment, then glorify God as you present that assessment to the individual you are called to judge and serve. You are called to judge, but judging well is your decision, so choose well.
Dear Father God, I know I am sometimes quick to judge … and to condemn. Please forgive me. Help me understand my own issues better, and resolve my needs so I don’t feel compelled to judge and ridicule others to lessen my own fears, anxieties, insecurities and inadequacies. I desire a heart that beats with Yours and wants to love and serve those You put into my life. Help me have a discerning lens to understand their struggles. Help me to lovingly and clearly teach them Your word. I pray this and all prayers in the name of the One quickest to forgive, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”
1 Samuel 16:7
“Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven;”
There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?
Kw: Addictions / Addictions Treatment, Mental Health Treatment, Honesty, Insecurity, Obedience, Relationship with God, Decision-Making, Mind of Christ, Bible, Adversity, Behavior, Character, Practice, Self-Evaluation, Condemnation, Forgiveness, Judgment