Today’s Scripture: 1 Samuel 1:10-15; Matthew 7:1, 1 Corinthians 11:13, 12:10
When the Bible instructs us to judge (see 1 Cor. 11:13, for example), we are to make a distinction, divide, separate, or come to a decision. This use of the word “judge” is synonymous with the word “discern”—as found in 1 Cor. 12:10, where Paul instructs us to distinguish between good and evil spirits.
However, when Jesus warned, “Do not judge or you, too, will be judged” (Matt. 7:1), He was cautioning that we not pass sentence on other people, lest they pass sentence on us. We are to fairly judge or discern based on facts and truth, not because we wish evil on the other person.
Sometimes we confuse judging with being judgmental, but there is a difference between the two. While a discerning person distinguishes between right and wrong, a judgmental person sees situations from a critical heart. He often passes sentence from a biased, one-sided point of view.
Eli moved too quickly in casting judgment on Hannah. Sadly for him and his sons, that judgment circled its way back unto their own family—exactly what the Lord cautioned would happen when we are judgmental and pass sentence before knowing all the facts.
- How do you differentiate between judging and being judgmental? What is your natural tendency?
- What biases do you need to release so you can discern fairly?