Think of the last time someone judged you. Was it a positive or negative experience? Now think of the last time you judged someone else. What was the basis for that judgment? Who developed the rating scale that you used? Was it created by the world or made in alignment with Scripture?
God does not tell us not to be observant. Scripture does not tell us that we will not have to make decisions. There is an element of judging that happens as we walk through life. Imagine hiring an employee, a babysitter or even a dog walker and not making any judgment about them. Can you see the potential disaster that could happen?
There is a fine line that we cross when we begin to judge the heart by outward appearances. The mighty prophet Samuel modeled this when he went to visit the family of Jesse to anoint the next king of Israel. He noticed the one that fit his list and God had to remind him that His list or judgment is vastly different. (See 1 Samuel 16.)
Do you struggle with judging others? It is incredible how quickly a judgmental attitude can come sneaking into our opinions of others. This season is particularly fraught with judgments. The funny thing is that we make the judgments and back them with earthly logic that can sound good.
Depending on your upbringing, culture, belief system and experience, you may judge according to:
- Skin color
- Economic Status
- Educational Status
- Their physique
When we strip everything away, we are sizing them up and comparing them to ourselves. We will either rise above the one we are judging in our thoughts or fall below. However, we are looking to grade ourselves as being superior in the area we are judging.
When I go into Scripture and truly look at people's stories, I see numerous types of people who we would have disqualified from church leadership due to issues such as:
Imagine if we could fully see from God's perspective. How would things look if we separated those who will become mighty men and women of God and have a victory from those who choose sin as their destinies? To do this, we must live and think by God's standards.
Stop judging based on the superficial. First, you must embrace the standards of mercy and truth (John 7:24).
How do we get there? Jesus makes it clear that the greatest commandment is to love Him. The second is to love our neighbor as ourselves. (See Matthew 22:36-40.) If our focus is on the Lord, we are spending time in the Word, worship and in prayer, our perception will begin to align with His. When we operate from a higher perspective, we do not become an obstacle to destiny; instead, we will call them into it. We will not judge by worldly standards but, rather, we will evaluate using heaven's scale. It does not mean that if we disagree that we do not love them. It means that we love so well that we introduce the individual to his or her destiny and the God who created his or her.
Ruth Hendrickson is an ordained pastor, itinerant speaker, ministry trainer and board-certified biblical counselor who has extensive experience in the development, training and oversight of emotional healing ministry teams, recovery ministries, prophetic ministry, prayer ministries and women's ministry. In addition, she is a course facilitator for Patricia King Institute and Charisma courses. She writes for Elijah List and Charisma and has a podcast titled Real Truth with Ruth. Through biblically based teachings and practical applications infused with love and laughter, her goal is to introduce people not only to the living God who saves but also to the God who desires an intimate relationship with each one of us. Her latest book, Everyday Prophetic, will help you find the prophetic voice that God has given you. Ruth is an avid, unsweetened iced tea drinker who loves warm weather, palm trees and beaches! She believes that she should live in the South. However, in the meantime, Ruth and her husband Mark reside in Stockton, New Jersey. Connect with Ruth on Facebook, YouTube, and her own website.
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