July 14 - Judged before You Judge
We all make judgments of other people but if we have not been judged by God first, our judgments can often times lead us into reactionary sins. Judging others is the easiest way of taking on the offenses of others and the judge would turn out to be the one under God’s judgment. The psalmist knows it full well, he knows that God is good to Israel and to those who are pure in heart. However, such goodness does not come upon him because of the way that he has judged others.
His erroneous judgments and his subsequent reactions are the reasons why he almost slipped and stumbled. Since he has taken on the cause of judging the arrogant and the wicked, he has himself taken on their characteristics. Because of his self-righteousness attitude, he has become arrogant; because of his condemning heart, he has become wicked in God’s eyes. In declaring their sins and wickedness, he has overlooked the kindness of God, desiring the wicked to be saved. In pleading his case, he was implying the unfairness of God in blessing the wicked. He believes that it is useless to be good for the wicked people are, in his eyes, even better than he is. Eventually, he has to go to the sanctuary of God to discern all those observable phenomena that he sees.
The Jewish people in Paul’s days were also passing judgments toward the Gentiles. Paul begins this portion of his epistle by saying, “Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things.” So in judging others, we are in fact judging ourselves. Passing judgments on others have the effect of turning the judge into being the judged.
The reason why we judge is because we do not trust the judgment of God, the Judge. When we are no longer accepting God’s judgment, we take on the God’s role to judge others. Only when we are judged first by God and His judgments, we can then have some understanding of what is going on. There are several things to bear in mind when you are tempted to judge others.
First, know that God is kind, forbearing and patient. The heart of God is for the repentance of sinners. Our jealousy and hatred toward the wicked is in direct contradiction to the heart of God who loves the world and wants all to be saved. Second, we must bear in mind our own sinfulness as we pass judgment on others. As Jesus once asked those who did not have sin to cast the first stone on the adulterous woman, He is asking us to search ourselves first. Third, we must know that God is fair, He shows no partiality and judges all according to their works. Now you can let God be the Judge and refrain from judging others.
Ps 73:1-14 1 Chron 16:37-18:17 Rom 2:1-24 Prov 19:8-9