Summary: Be careful when judging.

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John 7:24 Stop judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgment."

First what is a judgment: The ability to perceive and distinguish relationships or alternatives; discernment. The capacity to make reasonable decisions. An estimation. An idea or opinion. Criticize or censure.

How do we make judgments? We make them based upon what see, hear, feel, taste and touch. John says some special things in I John.

1 John 1:1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched--this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.

We write this to make our joy complete.

In reference to Jesus they had made judgements based upon their senses. They had seen him, they had looked at him, they heard him, and they touched him. Thus they made judgments and based on that they proclaimed, they testified, they were willing to die for him.

We all make judgments. Some are easy. Ex. You see a dress or suit. I like it or you don’t. No big deal.

Some are more difficult. You see a couple of police officers beating a man on TV. Your first response could be “I can’t believe those officers beating that man.” What you didn’t see was that moments before that same man had shot a third police officer and tried to shoot the other two but ran out of bullets.

Or what about Steven Covey example in his book 7 habits of highly successful people. Where he shares:

One Sunday morning on a subway in N.Y. People were sitting quietly-some reading newspapers some lost in thought, some resting with their eyes closed. It was a calm, peaceful scene. Then suddenly, a man and his children entered the subway car. The children were so loud and rambunctious that instantly the whole climate changed. The man sat down next to me and closed his eyes, apparently oblivious to the situation. The children were yelling back and forth, throwing things even grabbing peoples papers. It was very disturbing. And yet, the man sitting next to me did nothing. It was difficult not to feel irritated. I could not believe that he could be so insensitive as to let his children run wild like that and do nothing about it, taking no responsibility at all. It was easy to see that everyone else on the subway felt irritated, too. So finally, with what I felt was unusual patience and restraint. I turned to him and said “Sir your children are really disturbing a lot of people. I wonder if you couldn’t control them a little more. The man lifted his gaze as if to come to a consciousness of the situation for the first time and said softly “Oh you’re right. I guess I should do something about it. We just came from the hospital where there mother died about an hour ago. I don’t know what to think and I guess I don’t know how to handle it either.

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