But you, why do you judge your brother? ...for we will all stand before the judgment seat of God.” Romans 14:10
Why is it so easy to formulate, and then perhaps even verbalise a judgmental opinion when we see someone make different choices in life than we would? Evaluating others, especially in the household of faith can be a very profitable exercise, if we only do this in order to edify them for God’s glory. But so often our evaluation ends in only noticing actions that rub us the wrong way, or things that don’t sit well with our personal opinions. When this happens we tend only to see the negative and ‘different than us’ in other people. We become blind to the truth that this person was made in the image of God and has been rescued by God’s grace - just like us. We major on the weaknesses and fade on the strengths. I like how J.R. Miller (1894) in his book, ‘Judging Others’ challenges us:
It is better to have eyes for beauty – than for blemish. It is better to be able to see the rose – than the thorns. It is better to have learned to look for things to commend in others – than for things to condemn. Of course other people have faults – and we are not blind. But then we have faults of our own – and this should make us charitable.