By: Pastor Jarren Rogers
“Were we to think more of our own mistakes and offenses, we should be less apt to judge other people.” – Matthew Henry
Linda Blair, a psychologist, said that when we first meet someone, it takes only seven seconds for us to judge them. We aren’t even aware that we are doing it.
We unconsciously make a lot of judgments like this throughout the day. We judge people, we judge situations, we judge decisions. We so often become the judge of everything and everyone in our lives. It’s easy to assume that we know what’s best, we know who people are, or we know what we need to do.
Other times, it’s not so unconscious. Oh my gosh, do you see what they’re wearing? Did you hear what so-and-so did last weekend? I don’t see how they can live with themselves. How can they say that they’re a Christian and do that?
Our minds fill with these kinds of thoughts. Ironically, these internal judgments are the loudest on Sunday mornings. Go figure.
We can also become overly concerned with the judgments that others are making about us. We can worry too much what people think, what they are saying, what kind of person they think we are. It can drive us crazy.
Regarding all of this, I think it is important to remind ourselves of what Scripture has to say. Here’s what Paul wrote to the Corinthians:
“I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God” (1 Corinthians 4:3-5).
For those of us who are constantly worrying about the judgments of others, be encouraged today that there is only one Person whose thoughts matter and He knows you inside in out. Other people may look at your actions or your words to judge who you are but Scripture tells us that God looks at the heart. Therefore, do everything out of a love for Him and a love for people.
We have to stop judging each other (I’m guilty of this too). Instead of judging, what if we began praying? What if we offered an encouraging word? What if we showed love?
God had every reason to judge you, find you guilty, and sentence you to do death. But instead, He offered you grace and mercy. He offered you a love you didn’t deserve.
We should do the same.
Parents: Have a conversation about judgment with your kids. Explain how quickly we judge others and the alternatives that are available.