Summary: How can we be sure that we don’t settle for an evaluation of our life that ultimately won’t hold up?
Ways That We Judge Wrongly:
1. “He was a good man.”
- v. 3a - “judged by you or a human court [day].”
- At a funeral, the preacher may give this praise to the agreement of everyone present. That does not settle the matter though, because we as humans do not have the final judgment.
- Many people live desperate for the comfort that comes from having other people applaud you and speak highly of you. Ultimately, though, the judgment of people is not what we should be shooting for.
2. “I think I’m alright.”
- v. 3b-4a.
- Paul here is not speaking that he doesn’t evaluate his walk with the Lord to see if there are areas where he needs to draw closer. In fact, v. 4a indicates that he does in fact do that.
- The point Paul is making is that even if he can honestly declare himself innocent that was not conclusive. There are things that we don’t know about ourselves. There are motives that you may not fully understand. Jeremiah 17:9 tells us that the heart is deceitful above all things. We can deceive even ourselves.
3. “God is a God of love.”
- v. 4b.
- Of course it is true that the Lord is a God of love. But in the minds of many folks, that’s all He is. The Bible is clear, though, that He is also a God of judgment. We need to look to Him not just with love, but also with a measure of fear and trembling to know that we will someday be judged.
4. “That settles it.”
- v. 5a - “judge nothing before it’s time”
- We are often ready to declare the final score while the game is still in progress. A Christian works faithfully their whole life, but doesn’t seem to see as much fruit as you would expect. Perhaps, though, there is that one person they dramatically impacted who will in turn impact many for Christ.
5. “Nobody has to know.”
- v. 5b - “bring to light the hidden things of darkness”
- We want to believe that those thoughts we’ve had are known only by us. We want to believe that the things done in solitude will stay that way. But the Lord sees all and even those things which have no other human witness are know to Him.
6. “What you do is what matters.”
- v. 5c - “reveal the counsels of the heart”
- God will reveal what our motives were. There may be a believer who was a pillar of the church. We think, “On Judgment Day, their reward will be great.” Yet, in truth, they were serving because they liked pulling the strings of power within the congregation.
- It’s not enough that we do the action. We’ve got to do it with the right motives. . . and God knows what our motives are.
Why Is This So Important?
Because we can receive praise from God.
- v. 5d.
- We want to avoid these 6 lies so that we can live with the true judgment in mind, that our faithful and fruitful lives may be worthy of God’s commendation.