When we first look at someone we begin to point things out in our minds about them. Maybe that their hair is messy or neat, how they are dressed, how their attitude might be. In a nutshell, we try to figure that person out by looks. We end up giving that person a label; maybe something like successful, loner, or just your average joe. We don’t realize that we are actually judging. When in truth, we know nothing about that person. You never know what someone is going through. Maybe their hair is messy because they are just simply having a bad day.
Matthew 7:1 states “Do not judge others, or you too will be judged.” (NIV) Eventually, God will judge us all. But in this passage of Matthew 7, Matthew shares to not “look for the speck in another persons eyes when there is a log in your own”. In other words, before you point out someone else’s flaws, you need to take a look in the mirror and check out your own.
In John 7:24, Jesus says we should stop judging by appearances, but judge correctly. When you see someone doing something “different” or “unusual”, you start to judge “why are they doing that?”. An example may be at the grocery store: you are trying to pick out what kind of cereal you want this week for breakfast. While scanning your choices you become aware that there is a gentleman also checking out the cereal. The gentleman picks up a box, reads the label, puts it back, and repeats. Eventually you decide on your cereal before him and leave the aisle first. You probably walk away thinking “Man, that guy was taking forever”. To you, it’s just deciding on whatever your taste buds are craving this week. To him, he could have health problems such as diabetes where he needs to watch what he eats. Instead of thinking this over, we would jump right to the conclusion of him just being picky at what kind of cereal he wants to buy.
2 Corinthians 10:7 states “You are judging by appearances. If anyone is confident that they belong to Christ, they should consider again that we belong to Christ just as much as they do”. When it comes to judging, most of the time it is down-grading who we are judging to be less than ouselves. As followers of Jesus Christ, we are all equal. Therefore, one is not greater, or of greater worth, than the other. We all belong to Christ the same.
One of the biggest points one can make about judging is revealed to us in the Bible in John 12:47 “For I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world”. The Bible tells us to be Christlike. Therefore, why do we judge? Now, I’m not saying we need to save the world because we cannot do that. We can only influence. I am saying that in order to be Christlike we must not judge. It is ultimately God’s job on the day of judgement.
Next time you see something different or something you don’t like about someone, don’t just assume the worst because you don’t really know what that complete stranger is going through. Will you take a step up in your faith and let God do the judging?