Righteous Judgment

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John 7:24 “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.”

I make many judgments every day. This does not mean that I am judging people, but it does mean that I have to come to a conclusion on something to make a decision. My greatest desire and fear is that I make the right judgment every time. As a pastor, I am dealing with God’s work and people, and I want to make the right decision to make sure His people and His work are not hurt. As a dad, I want to make the right judgment for my daughter because I don't want to hurt her future. As a husband and leader of the home, I want to make the right judgment because I know that my wife and I will have to live with the results of that decision for years.

Everybody makes judgments every day. You make judgments in your finances by deciding whether or not to spend your money on something. Parents make judgments every day on whether or not to allow their children to do something or to be with someone. Leaders make judgments every day on the job or in the community that affects the lives of those they lead. Making judgments is part of life, but the desire of every person should be to make a righteous judgment. Let me share several things with you that will help you in this area of making judgments.

First, judgments do have to be made. You can't bury your head in the sand about decisions that need to be made and expect everything to turn out right. Making decisions or judgments is not easy, but they have to be made. Don't let the difficulty of the judgment cause you to be indecisive; a decision has to be made even though it is difficult.

Second, making right judgments is paramount because you are dealing with lives. Every decision you make impacts someone’s life other than yours; this is why it is critical to make righteous judgments. Your judgments will affect others; be sure what decision you make is the right decision.

Third, making a judgment on appearance always leads to the wrong judgment. You cannot let what you see cause you to make a judgment. Judgments on appearance are always emotional judgments, and emotional judgment almost always are the wrong judgment. Just because it “feels” right doesn't mean it is the right thing to do.

Fourth, never make a judgment without hearing both sides of the story. The only way you can keep yourself from making a judgment on appearance is to hear the other side of the story before you make a decision. You must withhold yourself from forming an opinion before you hear the other side because once you form an opinion, you cannot make a righteous judgment. It takes character not to form an opinion about the appearance of a situation, but you can train yourself over time not to form opinions until you know the other side of the decision about which you need to make.

Fifth, making judgments by principle helps lessen the daily judgments you must make. The fewer judgments you make, the lesser chance you have of making a wrong decision. The best way to make fewer decisions is to allow principles to be set up in your life to make the decisions for you when you are faced with those situations. Principles are made before the pressure of the judgment call has to be made; therefore, you can make a righteous judgment about situations when you refer to your principles and allow them to make your decisions for you.

Dr. Allen Domelle


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