Do Not Judge
“Do not judge…” What a difficult command! How many times do we judge without realizing it - even reading the newspaper or watching the news.
The only exercise some people seem to get is jumping to conclusions. One of the things I learned early-on was that the first report is almost always never complete or correct, and it pays to wait for more information before acting or deciding. Consider this; it used to be that journalists wouldn’t take a story to their editor without two independent sources. Those standards quickly disappeared when 24-7 cable news and the internet came along.
We have to be careful consumers of what’s reported…regardless of where the report comes from. It’s especially dangerous to swallow something hook, line, and sinker because it’s something you’d like to think is true. That’s called confirmation bias or the tendency to interpret new information as confirmation of something you already believe to be true.
Proverbs 18:13 tells us “If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame.” To be wise in today’s information saturated society, you need both wisdom and discernment. That means you learn God’s wisdom from God’s Word and then apply it wisely. Unfortunately, many Christians believe too much of what they hear or read on cable news, at the coffee shop, or from social media, rather than stopping to question and verify.
Proverbs 3:21 says, “Do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight, preserve sound judgment and discretion.” Without all of the information you need, jumping to conclusions can lead to bad relationships and false ideas. It’s best to reserve judgment until you know all the facts and understand the whole story. Instead, choose to “preserve sound judgment and discretion.” Patience in making important judgments pays off. Be as prudent as if the health of your relationships depends on it…because it can.
Proverbs 18:13 tells us, “What a shame—yes, how stupid! —to decide before knowing the facts!” (TLB) Don’t be quick to condemn or criticize. Don’t immediately assume you know people’s motivation, because you may not. Don’t decide before gathering all the facts from multiple sources.
When you wait for the whole story to unfold, you develop the compassion to love well and demonstrate the wisdom and discernment that comes from the Holy Spirit and the Holy Bible.
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