If I might be so bold, a sensible remark would be one that I have been speaking for a good while. Of course, it does not originate with me, and as surely as one reads it, the quality of its value will be apparent.
JUDGE NOTHING UNTIL YOU KNOW
It is so easy to judge something before one has sufficient information that allows that judgment to stand a critical test. All too often people form their judgments based upon their own point of reference, but one’s point of reference belongs only to one, not the one that the judgment is being rendered toward.
However, some will note, it is nearby impossible for me to not come to a judgment on something I have seen or read. Perhaps this is correct, but should your judgment be final when you have incomplete information? Your judgment of a situation is important and it might influence many; surely it is a matter of prudence to judge rightly – and this can be done when further information follows. Moreover, when further information follows, what point of reference will you use? Will you use your own? It is likely that you will, but if your point of reference is the Lord’s, how much firmer ground will your feet be planted on then?
“Do not judge according to appearance. Judge justly” (John 7:24, Montgomery)
Why do people look at the outside and judge so quickly? Stephen said it was because of pride, and this would be true. But pride in what? He offers that we have pride in thinking our insights are better than another. Mike said it is because people are lazy and impatient. This, too, is true. But why are people lazy and impatient? Ed said it is because it is the nature of who we are, we are people of the flesh and those of the fleshly way of thinking need to retrain their mind. Paula said it is because with our own field of experience, and this certainly is true. Finally, Glenda said it is because we do not look at people through the eyes of love. In sum, the following is offered: pride, lazy and impatient, our fleshly environment is at war with God’s standard and we are susceptible to weakness, our point of reference encourages (allows) us to interpret quickly, and we refuse to operate by the standard of love.
All these answers, it seem to me, are “spot on” answers. Whatever it is that I say I can’t imagine it will offer any improvement. Nevertheless, not bet being one shy of sharing an opinion, I will offer what I think along these lines.
I think the best answer to this is associated with the following: we think our insights are ….well….insightful (Stephen); we believe our opinion of a situation gets right to the heart of the matter and because we have a frame of reference (Paula) we have utmost confidence that we have it exactly right. This is associated with that which Glenda offered, and that is the lack of the love of Christ in our heart toward another person. It might be that we are correct in our interpretation of a situation, circumstance, event, or matter, but are we so sure of that – especially since we have not enough information from which to judge? Because the Lord knew all things that were before Him, He could make a perfect judgment each time. We, on the other hand, have not that capability. Still, we arrogate to ourselves the Lord’s perch.
This brings us to what Mike and Ed offered. It is most definitely the case that we are rather impatient and that our struggles with the flesh is over-whelming. We drive up to McDonald’s and want it our way (Burger King), and if we do not get it, it is likely we will stop and take up the matter with the store. All this is likely to take 10 minutes at most. When we sit down at a restaurant if the waitress does not come by within five minutes of our arrival, this gets our attention. We have grown accustomed to moving quickly and receiving quickly (cf. internet traffic). This plays well with our problem of judging much too quickly. Add to this the constant struggle of wanting to interpret accurately what we witnessed and talk about things with other people – with no malice intended (presumably) we have a ripe situation for trouble. If one adds malice as an intention, then a disastrous conflagration is stooping at our door!