4/10 John 7:24

24 "Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment."

Our world today loves to quote one Scripture: "Judge not, that you be not judged" (Matthew 7:1). The point of that passage in the Sermon on the Mount is that the standard we apply to others will be applied to us. Jesus is not telling us to be tolerant of sin or that truth is relative. In that very statement many love to quote, there is an implied right and wrong. It is wrong to judge others of the very things of which you are guilty. It is wrong to overlook your own faults and focus on those of others.

In today's selection Jesus tells us to make judgments, but not simply according to how things appear. To make a right judgment we must consider our own prejudices along with all the circumstances involved. Then we must listen to the heavenly Father, who knows all the factors we don't know. Jesus declared that He judges according to what He hears from the Father (John 5:30). He added that His judgment is just because He seeks the Father's will and not His own. To be completely impartial, we must set aside any personal agendas we may have. Only then can we reach a right judgment.

Far from God calling us to never have an opinion regarding sin, He tells us to judge, but to judge rightly. That necessitates knowledge of God's Word and spiritual ears that are open to hearing the voice of the Holy Spirit. There is right and wrong. There is good and evil. The culture's denial of reality is a symptom of its godless condition.

Consider: Though we have the empirical evidence of so many lives destroyed by overindulgence and hedonism, our culture insists that to call something sin is to be intolerant. The world is becoming intolerant of truth.