How to Be a Good Judge

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“Judge not, that you be not judged (Mat 7.1),” is among the best known and least understood of the sayings Jesus. Virtually in the same breath, he tells us, “Do not cast your pearls before swine (Mat 7.6),” which requires us to judge lest we be judged. So which is it, judge or judge not? It is a fact of life that we are all judging all the time, even when we decline to judge, for that in itself is a judgment call which will be righteous or unrighteous, fair or unfair, wise or unwise. Not only are we always judging, but judging is one of our highest privileges and responsibilities as those made in the image of God. The question is not whether we will judge but how we will judge. Will we reflect God’s character and be good judges, or will we reflect our own fallen character and be bad judges. Jesus is telling us how to judge righteously, that is, how to judge like God judges. One of the things that stands out about God, the judge of all, is that while he brings all things into judgment, he is not judgmental. We all know the difference. And we are to be the same way – always judging but never being judgmental. Another requirement to being a good judge is accurate perception and perspective, neither of which we have as sinners unless we look first to God’s word and second at our own lives before we begin holding up others to the lens of judgment. This is where we must begin if we, like God, would be good judges. And Jesus warns us that we will be judged on how we judge, for that is one of our highest callings. Painters are judged on how they paint, musicians on how they play, and judges on how they judge. I hope this sermon will help you get a biblical perspective on judging, and that as a result, you will be a good judge – like your Father. Thanks for listening. –Alan Burrow

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