'Don't judge!' is a common refrain in our society today. Sometimes it is meant to shut the conversation down, and sometimes to cover one's own guilt. Scripture does not teach us to "never" judge, but to not be judgmental. When Jesus told people not to judge, it was in the context of being overly harsh, critical, and self-righteous. He went on to warn, 'With the same measure you judge, you too will be judged.' Jesus tells his disciples to be wise and discerning, and to 'Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly.' (John 7:24) But how do we do this? Perhaps we need to seek the heart of God.
We all know John 3:16: 'For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten son so that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.' But are you as familiar with John 3:17? 'For God did not send His son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.' The heart of God is to save, restore, and renew. God judges sin in order to save people - us. That is why Jesus came 'full of grace and truth.'(John 1:14) If Jesus came only with grace, we would be left in our sins and evil would continue to rule. If Jesus came with only truth, we would be condemned. But Jesus came full of grace and truth so that we could acknowledge our need for God's forgiveness and receive the Holy Spirit to live a new life.
Jesus told his disciples, 'By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgement is just, for I seek not to please myself but Him who sent me.'(John 5:30) This is very convicting. Life is fast-paced, requiring constant judgement calls and decisions. I get caught in the current of life and wind up making all kinds of judgements before I seek the heart of God on the matter. How do I slow down my self-oriented judgements? How do I make sure that I am seeking the heart of God like Jesus did? Jesus' rhythm of life was of prayer early in the morning, reading Scripture, discussing the meaning of Scripture, and serving in the name of God daily.
Like any relationship, to know another's heart requires time with that person. So, let's pursue God's heart in the daily rhythm of our lives, in our weekly worship and Scriptural study, and in our service to a world that needs to experience the people God full of grace and truth. I trust our loving God will give you wisdom and words for proper judgement for the renewal of your family and coworkers, your neighbors and the needy. Remember, God has blessed you to be a blessing.
Blessed to be a blessing,