Think about your view of yourself. How do you see yourself? And then how do you see others?
John 7:24 - do not judge according to appearance but judge righteous judgment.
Obviously all judgment is not forbidden, judgment must be careful Matt 7:1ff
You need to look at yourself when you are drawing conclusions about others. Whatever standard you use in judging others, that same standard will be applied to you. Let’s not assume things based upon what we see. Some facts may be beyond our scope of knowing. But let’s be sure we know what we can before we draw erroneous conclusions about someone.
Jas 4:11 Do not speak evil of one another, brethren. He who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. 12 There is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy. Who are you to judge another?
The context of this passage is about personal purity and humility, read verses 6-10. A proper regard for ourselves is the backdrop of these verses.
1 Cor 4:1-5. Judge nothing before it’s time. Paul says we need to regard ourselves as servants and stewards because such we are. Then he says it’s a small thing to be examined by any human court. The Lord is the one who examines me, His praise matters.
The highest knowledge you will ever develop - possessing the mind of Christ - your affections and values matching His; your submissiveness and surrender; your high regard for truth, holiness and His people.
Col 1:9-12. For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 10 that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy; 12 giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light.
Let us judge humbly, carefully and righteously.
It takes time to learn and grow
It has both benefits and dangers. 1 Cor 8:1-3. There is a potential pitfall to knowing - you can elevate yourself above others if you don’t view it in light of God’s role in giving it to you
Regard for others in different fellowships:
- some people are where they are due to strong cultural influences
- some are sincere in their religious pursuit.
There are varying degrees of knowledge. It’s a process of heart cultivation and growth.
Do you believe in the providence of God? That He has the power to lead honest hearts from where they are to a better, more submissive expression of the righteousness of God.
So what do I do about where others are?
Don’t get carried away with yourself. Maintain your love for souls. Do I love them as God does? Teach, influence when and where I can. Fervent prayer for both me and them. Pursue holiness and truth always. He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
1 Tim 2:4
2 Pet 3:9
I can only control me. I need to be sure I am in that group that is covered by the mercy of God.
Don’t have all the answers? Ps 139:23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; 24 And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.