Scripture Reading: Numbers 22:21-23:26 / Luke 6:37-7:10 / Psalm 37:32-40
Judge Hatchett, Judge Wapner and Judge Judy…household names in arbitration-based reality court television. I remember watching “The People’s Court” years ago and it was interesting to hear the claims and everyone’s bantering explanations. It was quite comical but there was no resolve to the case until Judge Wapner made his decision. His judgment was final!...
I have discovered that there are thousands upon thousands of reality time judges and they all have different names like… Betty, Bridget, Dennis, Fred, Lucy, Paul and possibly a name like yours. We do have to admit that we at times sit in our courtroom, put on a “judges robe” and pass judgment on everything from products to people. Sometimes our judgments, like the reality judges, are just as shortsighted.
Jesus has some advice for us…“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” (Luke 6:37) We live in a world where you need to use wisdom and judgment. It is imperative that we live above the deceptiveness of hypocrisy, sin and satan. A judgment like that requires the measurement of God’s Word and His Truth. Paul makes mention that judgment must first begin in the “House of God”. We are to measure our lives according to God’s standards and live accordingly using His standards as the basis of our decisions and judgment.
It is a different story when our judging reaches outside of the context of our lives and becomes critical, condemning and unforgiving of others. The Pharisees took pride in their judgment of publicans, sinners and Jesus. They constantly censored people’s lives and internal motives.
We can fall prey to a Pharisaical spirit that is quick to see and spy small faults in others…looking for eye specks when there are beams in our own eyes. Hasty and improper judgments are passed on others based on small and insignificant facts. What it “looks like” isn’t always what “it is”. Hearing half the story or seeing half of the picture is a dangerous platform for passing judgment. Usually judgment like this is unreasonable and not open to correction.
Some pass judgment on others based upon their past struggles, hurts, frustration and emotions. Experiences are good teachers but they can often leave us with more questions than answers and emotional baggage. Relating and judging others out of our past experiences is not wise. The past is the bedrock of hurts and unforgiveness.
We need to be quick to forgive, as Christ has forgiven us. We are called to be an encourager and not respond critically and treat others like they are beyond mercy, grace and transformation. So the next time you hear the phrase, “Here comes the Judge!” hopefully they are not talking about you…only God can be given that title!
Pastor James Clark has pastored Calvary Assembly since 1985. He is blessed with his wife Yvonne, six children, two son-in-laws, a beautiful granddaughter and hopefully many more grandchildren to follow!