“Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.” (1 Corinthians 4:5)
Judging others is like breathing — it comes naturally. And sometimes the worst critics are Christians who use Scripture as their weapon of choice. So if you’re the one being judged, try to remember these four things:
- Show humility. If you’re guilty, admit it to God, yourself, and the appropriate others. Confession brings honesty and spiritual growth (see 1 John 1:9).
- Know your Bible. Satan took Scriptures out of context to try to trap Jesus, but Jesus knew the context so He didn’t fall for it (see Luke 4:1-13). When the Bible is taken out of context, remember God isn’t aiming at you. And when you’re rightly judged by God’s Word, don’t despair; it doesn’t mean He’s mad at you. He loves you — just as you love your children even when they disobey, and use their actions as “teaching moments” to develop them. “The Lord disciplines the one he loves, and … chastens everyone he accepts as his son” (Hebrews 12:6).
- Don’t be goaded into trying to defend yourself. Judgmental people aren’t interested in facts — they just want to feel good by making you feel bad. Pick your battles wisely, and don’t waste time on the unimportant. Here’s how Paul responded to his critics: “I care very little if I am judged by you or … any human court” (1 Corinthians 4:3).
- Don’t volunteer for the jury. If God doesn’t find you guilty, don’t judge yourself. Follow Paul’s example: “Indeed, I do not even judge myself” (v. 3). If you’re wrong, confess it, and by God’s grace correct it. Then make up your mind to live your life free from condemnation.
Heavenly Father, forgive me for all the times I have wronged You or others, and help me stay focused on You and not what others may say. It is only Your loving opinion that matters. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.