Thomasville Times Enterprise

Faith & values

June 21, 2014

Don’t judge, be discerning

One of my most troubling struggles is my natural tendency to prejudge people. My first impressions sometimes are the sole basis for accepting or rejecting individuals. The Bible says this is wrong. This is not the way God operates or the way Jesus felt.

The book of James flatly states, “My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect to persons (James 2:1). “But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors” (James 2:9).

We are forbidden, as followers of Jesus, to judge a person on the basis of their race, their dress, their bodily decorations, their education, their money, their social standing or any outward appearance that does not meet our approval. I know this is very hard to do.

On the other hand, I do believe we need to be discerning. It is not sinful to use common sense and good judgment. The Bible says, “God looks on the heart.” Unfortunately, we are not able to do this. We cannot know a person’s motives or nature or intent. I believe God gave us brains to make reasonable decisions. Naivety and blind trust are not what God intended with regard to treating others fairly and with common respect.

If at all possible, we should not judge a book by the cover, and we should not seek to correct mistakes until we have read the story. We need to understand the “why” behind the lives of which we may not approve.

How can we achieve the right attitude in the area of prejudgng? I believe only by prayer and asking God by the Holy Spirit to guide us in making judgments.


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