Word for You

Thursday 22 October             

‘Judge nothing before the appointed time.’ 1 Corinthians 4:5 NIV

Leave the judging to God (1)

Sadly, judging others often comes easily to us. And sometimes the worst critics are Christians who use Scripture as a weapon to condemn others. If you’re the one being judged, try to remember these four things: 1) Show humility. If you’re guilty, admit it to yourself, then to God, and then if it’s appropriate, admit it to others. Confession brings honesty and spiritual growth (take a look at 1 John 1:9). 2) Know your Bible. Satan took Scriptures out of context to try to trap Jesus, but Jesus knew the context so He didn’t fall for it (see Luke 4:1-13). If someone condemns you by taking the Bible out of context, remember God isn’t aiming at you. But if you’re rightly judged by God’s Word, don’t despair; it doesn’t mean He’s angry with you. You’re His child and He loves you, so He’ll use your actions as ‘teaching moments’ to develop you. ‘The Lord disciplines the one he loves, and…chastens everyone he accepts as his son’ (Hebrews 12:6 NIV). 3) Don’t be forced into justifying yourself. Judgmental people aren’t interested in facts – often they want to feel good by making you feel bad. Pick your battles wisely, and don’t waste time on unimportant things, or feel you need to reveal things that are just between you and God. Here’s how Paul responded to his critics: ‘I care very little if I am judged by you or…any human court’ (1 Corinthians 4:3 NIV). 4) Don’t judge yourself. If God doesn’t find you guilty, don’t keep believing you’re guilty. Follow Paul’s example: ‘Indeed, I do not even judge myself’ (v. 3 NIV). If you’re wrong, confess it, and correct it with God’s help. Then make up your mind to live your life free from condemnation.    

What Now?         

Do you have a flaw or failing that makes you judge yourself, or that others have judged you for? Take some time today to have an honest talk to God about it, then make a conscious decision to start correcting it today, with God’s help.