Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. Matthew 7:1-2 NASB
If God’s judgment is anything like ours, we’re in big trouble! And if you’re anything like me, you know that HE knows the manner in which you have passed your verdicts upon others. You and I may assume we’ve been right most of the time and that those people got what they deserved. But are any of us really willing to stand before the One who knows every, single detail of every situation?
The prospect that God would get even with me in the same way I had gotten even with others used to hang ominously over me. So just in case, I took Jesus’ advice and ceased judging others. Well, at least, I tried. Or maybe I just joined all the other little self-righteous judges who were also claiming not to judge anybody in hopes of keeping God from doing unto me what I did unto others.
Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment. John 7:24 NASB
Judge with righteous judgment? Maybe it’s safer to simply stick with judge not. I mean, do we really know God’s mind well enough to pass righteous judgment? Some sure think they do, and they will tell you what God says about every little aspect. Yeah, I used to be one of those who thought he knew God’s mind because he thought he had a good handle on the Bible.
Ironically, those who believed they understood God’s mind because they understood His written word were the very ones who were judging according to appearance. For Jesus spoke those words about righteous judgment to the people in the crowd who were mad at him for healing a man on the wrong day. They thought their anger was righteous because they wrongly assumed it was scriptural. The truth is that it fit within their appearance-based minds.
No, my friends, righteous judgment does not come by one’s handle on the Scriptures or by one’s sense of right and wrong. If it does, then Jesus was all wrong in dying for the unrighteous.
More to come ….