As a consumer generation we have taken a lot of Biblical principles and turned them around to make us to be more God-like in our standing. Like judging a person’s motives and their heart. We do this so we can pick and choose what we “judge” to be right or wrong. In doing this we are putting ourselves in a very dangerous position that belongs to God alone. When choosing the next king of the Hebrew nation Samuel searched far and wide to find the man who God was wanting to put in that position. I’m sure that all the people thought they would see some handsome warrior who on the outside was very imposing to be their king. Samuel himself knew what kind of king God wanted and shocked everyone by picking David. David was kind of the runt of the litter and even though he was toughened from herding sheep and using slingshots, his stature was an issue. But not to Samuel. Here is how God told Samuel to qualify the next king in 1 Samuel 16:7 7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” This doesn’t mean that Samuel judged David’s heart. but God did. Leaders, especially Kings were to lead the people as God wanted them to and that included making decisions the people agreed with and decisions they didn’t agree with. Whatever the people thought was not the issue, but what God thought and wanted was the main priority. The man who values God’s wants over the world’s is a man God can use. David was going to have to make some tough decisions and not everyone was going to agree with him, but he needed to be in tune with God. I’m a little more sensitive to David because that is also my name, but more than a name I need to be a man who walks with God. A man who walks with God is not someone who can just pick the easy route to go and just make everyone happy. He is a man who does what God chooses is best.
In Americanized Christianity we have become American Pickers. On the television show American Pickers, the guys will go to people’s homes who have collected “junk” or what they call “memorabilia” and offer them a price to purchase it so they can sell it at a profit. In American Christianity we have also become pickers by picking the things we like as long as we agree with it. The problem with that is God many times does things much different than the teachings of our world. In the midst of following God we cannot just pick the easy things, but we must choose to expose all of God’s truths. Of course, the world is not going to line up with God’s teachings. Not even the good ole United States.
American Pickers is also sometimes Christians making themselves judges. In church life they judge what direction we are going and then when they pass down the judgment it either lets a church go forward or it goes backward. Judgment is not something God has blessed any believer with because only God can see the heart and make His judgment from what He sees. Critical people usually don’t see the whole picture when trying to judge and that usually ends poorly for them and the person they hurt. Look at this article from Our Daily Bread about judging.
We sometimes criticize others unfairly. We don’t know all their circumstances, nor their motives. Only God, who is aware of all the facts, is able to judge people righteously. John Wesley told of a man he had little respect for because he considered him to be miserly and covetous. One day when this person contributed only a small gift to a worthy charity, Wesley openly criticized him.
After the incident, the man went to Wesley privately and told him he had been living on parsnips and water for several weeks. He explained that before his conversion, he had run up many bills. Now, by skimping on everything and buying nothing for himself he was paying off his creditors one by one. “Christ has made me an honest man,” he said, “and so with all these debts to pay, I can give only a few offerings above my tithe. I must settle up with my worldly neighbors and show them what the grace of God can do in the heart of a man who was once dishonest. Wesley then apologized to the man and asked his forgiveness.
I guess it comes back to the heart, or what God always looks at when judging things. Sometimes people think they look taller when they are standing on someone’s else life in judgment. But in reality they are at their smallest when they pass judgment. Where does a judging heart come from? Usually self righteousness is the root cause of it. A person who lives their life according to the law instead of grace will always have a need to consider others according to that law to satisfy the deep longing in their heart. The longing is something God wants to heal, but it will be difficult for them because of pride.
This picking mentality causes us to judge people by how they look, what they say, and it is all based on our perception, which is flawed at best. The world’s way of responding to people never works, but God’s way is always best. That is why Jesus said in Matthew 7 “Do not judge so that you will not be judged. 2 For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. 3 Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.
We see a lot of judgment passed around these days and it is counterproductive in our world and in the church. Our president, Donald Trump, is judged every day to first of all be wrong, and then they give in when he is right. This judgment is very worldly and it is a bad example of how to live and it has caused great problems in our nation and in our world. Perhaps we as believers could stem the tide by beginning in our own lives to be a kinder, less judgmental people of grace. The life lived in grace also causes more graceful living. Don’t judge and don’t just pick what you think will make you look better or more spiritual. Leave the judgment up to God because it is all about His judgment anyway.
The Pilgrimage continues…..