Submitted by Debra Stitt - 5 May 2003
"Judge not, that ye be not judged." (Matthew 7:1 KJV)
When you enter a courtroom, there is one thing and one thing only that counts in judging a defendant -- evidence. You have to have all the relevant facts to make a decision about the case. If you don't have all the facts then under our system of juris prudence you have to acquit because you cannot be sure the person is guilty. It's too bad people didn't apply the same logic to their judgments outside the courtroom. We jump right in judging other Christians behavior. Yet, do we really have all the evidence? No, we don't. We simply don't know enough to judge someone else. For instance, we don't know where people came from. We don't know what they've gone through. We don't know what they are struggling with. I remember one young Christian saying to me once, "You know people criticize me because I still smoke. But less than a year ago, I was mainlining heroin. God delivered me from that. He'll deliver me from nicotine too. It just takes time." To judge someone's walk we have to know from where they started. If they haven't caught up with you yet, it could be they started further down the road.
Perhaps most importantly, we don't know the heart of the person. We only see how they dress, what they say, how they act. We can tell much from that but not all. God though doesn't judge based on outward appearance, but rather he "looks on the heart" (I Samuel 16:7) Until I can look at a person's heart, understand his motives, know why he is the way he is, I cannot judge his actions. Besides, I don't have time to judge anyone else's faults. I have a full time job dealing with my own.
Lord, help me remember who is best at judging the hearts of men and keep me focused on my own walk and not on the walks of others except to be a good companion on the journey. Amen
May God Bless you and Keep you, In His Service,