April 13 2021
Today, Tuesday April 13
Judging or Discerning
“But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written: “As I live, says the Lord, Every knee shall bow to Me, And every tongue shall confess to God.” So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.”
At least four times in Romans 14 Paul uses the word “judgment” and warns us not to be passing judgment on one another. “Who are you to pass judgment…” (v.4). “Why do you judge your brother…” (v. 10). “Therefore let us not pass judgment..” (v. 13). “…the one who has no reason to pass judgment..” (v. 22).
There is a difference between judging and having discernment. One of most practical ways that you can tell the difference, is if you are judging someone you begin to be critical and condemning of them and you gossip about them. If you are spiritually discerning a flaw in their character or notice their “sin”, you will respond with humility and grace, and begin to pray for them. Oswald Chambers said, “God did not give us the spirit of discernment to condemn but to intercede!”
Jesus was very specific on this same subject. “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. (Matthew 7:1-5)
It sounds like to me that Paul must have read or heard that Jesus had said these words!
There is nothing that divides us like gossip, and a critical, condemning spirit. And there is nothing that unites us like love and intercessory prayer for one another! May the Lord help us today to remember that one day we ourselves will give an account to God for how we treat others!