Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God. —1 Corinthians 4:5
I think the hardest thing in the world that I have had to learn is to stop judging. I cannot say that I have learned it completely. God is not finished with me yet, and He is still dealing with me in this respect. I have discovered that the less judging I do, the more peace I get.
Paul is not talking here about hating sin, because that is something we should all do. He is talking about finding fault with someone who is threatening you, someone who is giving you problems, or perhaps someone who just “gets your goat.” Sometimes it is a personality clash and you make it into some big issue when it is really a personal one. Many times what is posed as a theological issue is nothing more than a problem of jealousy, envy, or pride, which are purely personal problems. Failing to recognize that, we get embroiled in it and say, “God’s with me,” and He is not. It is too common a mistake.
There are five things we ought to know about being judgmental, and the first is that judging is speculation. We simply do not have all the evidence.
Second, judging is schismatic. It will always cause division; you cannot avoid it. Whenever you begin to judge, the church will be divided.
Third, judging is selfish. Primarily it is a sign of our self-righteousness. We do not think so, but it is, and it is self-serving.
Fourth, judging is spineless. No strength of character is required for you to be judgmental, and it shows no taste.
Fifth, judging is superseding because you are doing not only what God says not to do, but you are actually doing what God says belongs to Him: “To me belongeth vengeance. Vengeance is mine.” Five good reasons, then, for taking this verse seriously: stop judging!
Excerpted from When God Says “Well Done!” (Christian Focus Publications Ltd., 1993).