Summary: Be careful when judging.
MAKE A RIGHT JUDGMENT
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.
Sometimes it very difficult to make a right judgment when you don’t have the facts. The man wasn’t being insensitive maybe just overwhelmed.
Today we’re going to look at a passage of scripture that clues us into the danger of making judgments to quickly even by godly humble men.
Exo 32:1 When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, "Come, make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him." Aaron answered them, "Take off the gold earrings that your wives, your sons and your daughters are wearing, and bring them to me." So all the people took off their earrings and brought them to Aaron. He took what they handed him and made it into an idol cast in the shape of a calf, fashioning it with a tool. Then they said, "These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt."When Aaron saw this, he built an altar in front of the calf and announced, "Tomorrow there will be a festival to the LORD." So the next day the people rose early and sacrificed burnt offerings and presented fellowship offerings. Afterward they sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in revelry. Then the LORD said to Moses, "Go down, because your people, whom you brought up out of Egypt, have become corrupt. They have been quick to turn away from what I commanded them and have made themselves an idol cast in the shape of a calf. They have bowed down to it and sacrificed to it and have said, ’These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.’ "I have seen these people," the LORD said to Moses, "and they are a stiff-necked people. Now leave me alone so that my anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them. Then I will make you into a great nation." But Moses sought the favor of the LORD his God. "O LORD," he said, "why should your anger burn against your people, whom you brought out of Egypt with great power and a mighty hand? Why should the Egyptians say, ’It was with evil intent that he brought them out, to kill them in the mountains and to wipe them off the face of the earth’? Turn from your fierce anger; relent and do not bring disaster on your people.