1. Have you ever wondered how God balances His judgment with kind expressions of goodness? To give equal weight to God’s judgment and goodness is only made possible through the leading of the Spirit into all truth. (John 16:13) Many people stumble and fall because they tend to drift toward extremes. Paul gives us some clues as to how we can learn from the way God balances His judgment and goodness in this passage. He begins by warning us not to judge others by posing as a judge or risk condemning ourselves. Paul makes it clear that only God has the right, qualifications and truth to effectively judge with all goodness and fairness. Spiritual blindness causes many to presume upon and underestimate the wealth of God’s goodness, kindness and long-suffering patience. The great apostle exhorts us with the fact that God’s kindness is intended to lead us to change our mind and inner attitudes in accordance with His will. Ask the Lord to help your teaching be more reflective of God’s perfect balance of judgment and goodness.
2. The judgment of man by man is always inadequate. No man has sufficient knowledge, impartiality or objectivity to judge another as God does. Only God has the moral, spiritual and Biblical authority to demand accountability. People who try to judge others are liable to have their focus drawn away from their own sins of commission, omission, disposition or faulty assumptions. No one has enough excuses to justify a judgmental spirit. Leave the judging to God who knows how to temper mercy with justice. Ask the Lord to help you be perfectly content to allow the Lord to judge people instead of trying to do His job for Him.
3. God’s goodness is an expression of the love that attracts everyone. Everyone needs to be loved. Many people will do just about anything for love and kindness. The Lord shows His goodness through our temporal and spiritual blessings in Christ. Whoever is not a friend to thankfulness will never be a companion to happiness. The greatness of God’s goodness is demonstrated in the face of man’s guilt and sin. Yet, God’s goodness is not so mushy as to be given without the purpose of drawing all to repentance. Ask the Lord to help you express God’s goodness in all of your relationships, teaching and ministries for the purpose of bringing people into alignment with God’s will.
4. God’s goodness is shown to reveal the light of Christ and His cross. Do not take God’s goodness for granted. Perfect balance is found in Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Christ offers deliverance from the judgment of God. Christ supplies us with all the goodness we need even in the face of life’s cruelty. Ask the Lord to help you focus more on gaining a balanced perspective of His goodness and judgment through a deeper knowledge of Jesus. The more we appreciate His goodness and judgment the more balanced we will become balanced in all areas of life.
5. The riches of God’s goodness and the complexities of God’s judgment will never be fully understood by men. Too many people have tried to solve the mysteries of God’s sovereign judgment and His goodness in giving man a free will. Both God’s goodness and judgment are beyond the understanding of man’s finite minds. Our responsibility is to trust and obey God to help us teach others about the perfect balance of His goodness and justice. Ask the Lord to help you avoid becoming frustrated by putting knowledge before obedience to His purposes.