By Jasmine Uthaya Kumar, India
In our day-to-day relationships, we often make judgments. These judgments shape our responses and reactions to certain things. A right judgment leads to a right reaction. And the reverse is true too. Hence, it is important that we exercise caution in our judgment.
Firstly, we need to recognize that we could never truly know the heart and intent of a person. Only God knows. He is a “righteous God, who searches minds and hearts” (Psalm 7:9). Thus, we must always seek God’s wisdom.
Secondly, we have a limited view and understanding of things. Hence, we could judge wrongly. Unknowingly, we may be judging God’s children incorrectly even when they are trying to do the will of God for their life. Job’s friends are one clear example. They answer Job’s words without trying to find out what produces those words. Moreover, they always spoke with the utmost confidence that what they were saying was the final word on the subject. There was no apparent understanding that perhaps there were aspects of God and dimensions to His Word that they had not yet seen.
Thirdly, before we act on our judgments, we need to search our motives first. Our intent should always be for building up and not tearing down. But, before we correct our brothers or sisters for their glaring mistakes, let’s check ourselves and pray for wisdom in dealing with the situation. And as we correct them, let us do so with kindness and a right attitude—one that doesn’t condemn. 2 Timothy 2:24-26 states, “A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people. Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth. Then they will come to their senses and escape from the devil’s trap. For they have been held captive by him to do whatever he wants.”
Lastly, Jesus warns against hypocrisy in our judgments. In Matthew 7:3-5, we read: “And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? 4 How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? 5Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.” Once again, we need to examine ourselves before attempting to judge lest we be hypocrites.
For these reasons, let us be very careful when we judge so that we do not stumble a young believer who is learning how to live out his or her faith in Christ.