Judging Fairly


     In spite of the way modern religious groups tend to focus so much on the externals of worship--the rituals of religion. God is, to the contrary, more concerned about our inner thoughts. This reminds me of God's conversation with Samuel, Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart (1 Samuel 16:7). I believe there should be a connection between the outward appearance of a Christian and his heart. It is a real struggle to live outwardly what we are feeling and thinking inwardly. Unfortunately we are influenced by the world's focus on the outward image of a person to the exclusion of the inner person. The world is all about appearance but God looks a lot deeper.

     Christians need to remember God does look at our hearts and not just at the way we appear. In fact, this is how we need view others as well. However, because we are not God, or have his ability to judge the heart, we must refrain from superficial judgments. I believe this is our most difficult challenge, to not judge those around us unfairly. James wrote about this very subject in James 2:1-4, My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don't show favoritism. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, "Here's a good seat for you," but say to the poor man, "You stand there" or "Sit on the floor by my feet," have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?

     So, judging unfairly is a problem everyone has to live with. We have to constantly battle our thoughts about the people around us. Jesus said, Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you (Matthew 7:1-2). Let us begin to look upon each other with less judgmental eyes and give people "the benefit of the doubt."

    I want to leave you with a challenge for the week, every time you begin to think negative thoughts about someone, stop yourself. And then, begin to think positive thoughts about the person instead.