Do not show partiality in judging; hear both small and great alike. Do not be afraid of any man, for judgment belongs to God. Bring me any case too hard for you, and I will hear it.
Deuteronomy 1:17 points out that God is the ultimate Judge. His name Jehovah means Righteous Judge, and we are called to entrust all judgment to Him.
Peter tells us that judgment must first begin with the household of God. (I Peter 4:14-18) We must be willing to have the Holy Spirit examine our lives, bring conviction, and, most importantly, bring us to repentance. David was quick to ask God to search his heart to see if there was any offense in him. (Psalm 139) It is sometimes easier not to have God examine our hearts because we may not want to see what is there; perhaps we know what is there and do not wish to deal with it. Often when we judge others harshly, it is because we have not allowed God to judge us in the same area. Isn’t it interesting that what we criticize in others is often found in ourselves? Jesus warned us to be sure to check out our sins before we pass judgment on another person: Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay not attention to the plank in your own eye? (Matthew 7:3)
It is also interesting to note in the passage from Matthew that we will be judged by the same measure that we judge others. (v.1) Have you ever noticed that the judgments you have made seem to come back to you? For example, you may have judged one of your parents and determined never to be like them. Years later you find yourself doing the same things that you vowed you would never do. Judgment apart from God causes us to bring judgment on ourselves. Our Scripture reading today in Deuteronomy reminds us that judgment belongs to God. Although we are called to be discerning and to judge good from evil in others, the Lord ultimately is the One who makes the final judgment. We are called to speak the truth in love, stand on our convictions, and gently lead others to Christ. We must always remember that we will all stand before God and give an account for how we handled His truth. (Romans 14:10)
Did we judge others, or did we bring them to the Righteous Judge?
Did we criticize others, or did we pray for them? Did we see a speck in our brother’s eye and refuse to take the plank out of our own eye? Ask the Lord to help you today to discern good from evil, to examine your own heart, and leave the judging to Him. He is indeed a Righteous Judge!
I am so quick to judge. Forgive me. Help me to turn to You in prayer and not in judgment of others. Help me to speak the truth in love without judgment to others and to always be willing to allow You to examine the motives of my heart.
In Jesus’ name, Amen