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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Judge

After two weeks of fairs at the county and state level, I guess my mind is on judging.  Last week at the county fair, I went around with the judge who was judging the crafts.  It was interesting watching her and listening to her comments of why something placed 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or why something placed last.  She really thought through her decision on each and every entry she judged.

This past Friday, our three oldest children were involved in livestock judging at the Oklahoma State Fair.  After they were allowed to look at the livestock animals, they "placed" them in the order they believed they should be.  Then, they were instructed to go and give "reasons".  Reasons are telling someone else (usually college-aged kids) why they placed each animal in a certain order.  This is my kid's LEAST favorite part of the event.  It's hard to give "reasons" (I remember from my 4-H years!) because some of the animals they judge they really don't know very much about.  But, part of the contest is telling the reasons of why they judged the animals in that particular order.  It's good practice for them and makes them think!

Another "judging" event was the table setting contest I wrote about yesterday.  I looked at all of the tables and judged them in my own mind.  I even picked the 1st place tables just as the judges did in the junior division and the senior division.  However, even though my daughter received 2nd place, I actually thought my son's table was more of a correct table setting.  Her's (to me) had a few more mistakes made than his did.  (Of course, I'm very proud of them for how well they did because they both did great!)  But, you know what?  It doesn't matter what I thought!  Why?  Because I wasn't the judge!  The only persons's opinions that mattered at that contest were the two judges opinions.  That's all - no one else's opinion mattered one bit.

Throughout our lives we have times where we find ourselves as a judge.  I'm often a judge between my children's squabbles...even if I don't really want to be!  You may be a judge in your family relationships, too, or in a situation with an employee or co-worker.  In fact, some people appoint themselves as a "juror and judge" of every situation!

The Bible has a lot to say about judging.  Some of the scriptures warn us about judging.  Others actually even tell us to judge, but are careful to explain the situations where it is okay and even necessary.  The verse below explains that whatever measure we use to judge others will be used to judge us.  It's easy to see weakness and sin in someone else, but it's not always so easy (or we don't want to look at ourselves close enough to find out!) to see weakness and sin in our own lives.  But, we must be careful - because when we are too hard on others and have a condemning and judgemental spirit, we're going to get that same "measure" used on us.  That condemning spirit actually condemns us! (Romans 2:1-3)

The reason we are not capable of judging as God and Jesus do, is because we can not look at the hearts of people.  We only look on the outside.  We judge the motives of others when we really have no idea about their motives.  We judge the actions of others when we really may not know their true actions.  We judge on the outward appearance and personality traits.  God judges the heart.  He sees inside the mind and in the soul.  He judges by what is true and real.  We judge by what is perceived to be true and what appears to be real.

"Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." Luke 6:36-3

"You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. Now we know that God's judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God's judgment?" Romans 2:1-3

These verses are  enough to make us think long and hard about our sometimes-self-righteous judging, aren't they? On this Gratituesday, I am grateful that God is the judge and that He is mericful!

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1 comment:

Wa Wa Waughs said...

I think this is one of the things I struggle with the most because so many times I don't know the situation of the person involved. I try (and fail) many times to look at everyone as a child of God no matter their appearance or actions. Same Kind of Different As Me is a wonderful book that will convict your thinking! I'm so thankful that God is our judge and he is merciful!

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