Judging Other People

As Joe was leaving the grocery store he was very surprised when a pretty and perky young lady greeted him with a cheerful and enthusiastic “Hi!” Her face was beaming. He couldn’t remember having ever seen her before. Then she realized that a mistake had been made and apologized. “Oh, I’m so sorry,” she explained. “When I first saw you I thought you were the father of one of my children.”

As she walked into the store, Joe was left staring dumbfounded after her. He thought to himself, “What is this world coming to?  An attractive woman who doesn’t even remember what the father of one of her kids looks like.  Joe was, however a bit flattered that he might resemble one of her former companions.  Then he hoped nobody overheard her saying that she mistook him for being the father of one of her children.

With all of these thoughts racing through his mind and a bit stunned, Joe walked to his car. He still did not realize, of course, that….she was a second grade teacher.

 Joe was guilty judging because he misunderstood what the young lady was saying to him. 

The problem of judging others is nothing new. The apostle Paul condemned the Corinthians for improperly judging others.  They were divided over preachers and personalities. Some accused Paul of preaching for money or desiring to rule over them. So, Paul admonished, “Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait til the Lord comes.  He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts.  At that time each will receive his praise from God.” (1Cor. 4:5, NIV) 

          Paul tells them the issue is not, “Is Paul a popular preacher” or “Is Apollos a better speaker?”  Or “Does Peter have a better personality?  The issue is faithfulness in stewardship.  So, he tells them to quit judging God’s ministers.  Leave that for the Lord! 

Is All Judging Wrong?  

          The answer is No!  In Chapter five he tells them to judge, just as he already has, the immoral man.  This is in harmony with Jesus’ command to, “Judge righteous judgment” (John 7:24).

          What Paul is condemning is the improper judging of motives.  Warren Weirsbe said, “You cannot see into men’s hearts; you cannot begin to judge their motives.  Only God can do that…The Corinthians were playing God and assuming to themselves  privileges that only God has.”  Remember this:  “Man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Sam. 16:7)  I think there are some good lessons we can learn from this principle. 

Among Brethren 

     A brother may hurry past us and not speak, so we conclude he is unfriendly or upset with us.    That is judging his motive.  Maybe is not feeling well and needed to hurry home.  Or we speak to someone and they don’t say anything.  We judge that they are purposely ignoring us.  Well, maybe they have a hearing problem and didn’t hear you! That has certainly happened to me! 

     A brother comes forward to confess a public sin and before he leaves the building someone says, “He’s not sincere.”  How do you know?  Are  you God?  Can you possibly know his heart? 

In Our Homes 

     In the marital relationship it is very easy to think we always know what our spouse is thinking or why they did or did not do something.  Be careful.  You might be judging motives. Avoid accusations and statements that indict your mate’s motives.

     It is true that no one knows the heart of another person.  Let’s not be guilty of assigning guilt where there is none.  Euripides put it this way, “Judge a tree from its fruit, not from its leaves.”  Or as Jesus commanded, “Judge not that you be not judged.” 

—Ken Weliever, The Preacherman

 

8 Comments

Filed under Judging

8 responses to “Judging Other People

  1. Camille Corley

    I certainly have been guilty of wrongful judgement. Better to dwell on the positive attitributes of a person. Thanks for your thoughts on this Ken. Camille

  2. Wilson Bryant

    All your posts have been extremely helpful, Ken, and we look forward to these each day. If all folks could follow these particular thoughts, what a change it could bring to our relationships as we spend these days of our life.

  3. Mark Russell

    Keep up your good work, brother!

  4. Nice post. Thanks for the thoughts on judging!

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