Decide NOW! Will your judgment be righteous or not? It’s up to you.
John 7:24 – Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.
There is much banter within the body of Christ about JUDGMENT. One Scriptures says to “judge not,” while another, such as our Text for Today, says, “judge righteous judgment.” So what’s a person to do? “Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth.” That’s the best possible answer I can offer anyone. Questions of judgment are broad and far reaching, coming from more sources than one can number, involving as many situations as there are questions, and based on what one will hear from various scholars, both self-declared and actual, offering even more responses than queries.
So let’s examine this issue from our Lord’s admonishment and instruction. He said to judge “righteous judgment,” and to “not” judge “according to the appearance.” Let’s focus for this writing on that single instruction. It is a safe place to begin quest for understanding of judgment. Appearances can be deceiving, and that for a number of reasons. Consider for a moment the scientific. Elements such as distance, depth-perception, lighting, and even atmospheric conditions impact what our eyes perceive in marked manners. Have you ever seen a mirage? I have, and a slight change in humidity or lighting can totally change it. Have you ever been in desert country where an object seemed much closer than it actually was? I have, and a rock formation that looked like it was only a mile or so distant was discovered to be more than 30 miles away. Have you ever seen someone who looked so much like someone you knew (at a distance) that you approached them to speak to them? I have; too often to discuss. Do colors seem to differ widely in various lighting?
And then there is mistaken reasoning. I once heard someone talking about a brother in Christ who was seen leaving a liquor store. Their speech was not kind, and was in fact judgmental and condemning. Yet when I confronted him in the presence of the person he was talking about, it was discovered the man was moving to a new residence, and had gone to the liquor store to find boxes for moving breakable items he needed to move. It seems the boxes in which the liquor was delivered made the best possible packing boxes for breakables. You see, righteous judgment requires that perceptions be examined in the best possible light, and the best possible light is ALWAYS TRUTH. In order to judge righteous judgment, ALWAYS examine observations in the light of God’s Word. When you don’t KNOW the truth, don’t use conjecture, or suspicion. Be quiet until you KNOW the truth. Until you KNOW the truth, speak of it ONLY to the Lord in prayer. If you never KNOW the truth, NEVER speak of it other than to the Lord. If He wants you to know more, He can tell you. Otherwise, KEEP QUIET!
Manna for Today – John 7:1-24; Psalm 54:1; Luke 7:1-2; John 5:30; 1 Corinthians 6:1-5 & 11:31; 2 Timothy 2:15