Oh, To Judge Rightly!

“I charged your judges.., ‘Hear the cases between your brothers, and judge righteously between a man and his brother or the alien who is with him. You shall not be partial in judgment. You shall hear the small and the great alike. You shall not be intimidated by anyone, for the judgment is God’s. And the case that is too hard for you, you shall bring to me, and I will hear it.’” Deuteronomy 1:16-17

“Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

“Consider what you do, for you judge not for man but for the Lord. He is with you in giving judgment. Now then, let the fear of the Lord be upon you. Be careful what you do, for there is no injustice with the Lord our God, or partiality or taking bribes…

“Thus you shall do in the fear of the Lord, in faithfulness, and with your whole heart… Behold, Amariah the chief priest is over you in all matters of the Lord; and Zebadiah.., the governor, in all the king’s matters, and the Levites will serve you as officers. Deal courageously, and may the Lord be with the upright!” 2 Chronicles 19:6-7,9,11

“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged… Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” Matthew 7:1-5

“Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.” John 7:24

God sets the standard for righteous judgment, and through the Scriptures and ages reinforces His tenets: Never be partial. Align with My word. Fear God. Be careful. Avoid persuasion by appearances or bribes. Discern with God-given authority. Approach humbly. But fickle flesh resists sticking to His guidelines. There are so many shades of grey, lures of pride and persuasion, temptations to allow preference and prejudice to taint decisions. Ah, the ugly, deceitful human heart! (Jeremiah 17:9)

Every day judgments are required, affecting few and many. In every assessment we make, as individuals or for the masses, we answer to only One, and He is holy. It’s vital we check ourselves for impurities of thought and heart before attempting to pronounce judgment on anyone else, and be quick to take on the mind of Christ with great compassion, reverence, and love. Judge actions against God’s standards, and leave motives to Him who knows the soul. (John 2:24-25; 1 Corinthians 2:12-16; Hebrews 4:12)

Where are we tempted to listen to falsehoods or bribes of an unmoored heart, or to slant toward the noisy crowd? In what circumstances do we need heavenly blinders, or emotional tempering? How are we investing to know God’s word?

Lord, in all situations, may I, with pure heart, render true and honest judgments that reflect Your mercy, kindness, and righteousness. Zechariah 7:9-10

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