Judging Ourselves

Romans 14:10-13
But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.

I think sometimes we can get it a little backwards and act like we are the final authority on things. Even among a group of believers seeking to live sincerely in the will of God and according to the Word of God, there will be differences. People have different convictions and viewpoints. People are at varying stages of their faith journey and in different places along the spectrum of spiritual maturity. And that’s okay. It is not up to us to go around making sure other people live up to our standards, but it is each individual’s responsibility to live up to God’s standards and what His will is for them.

It is God who will judge and it is God who gets to decide. It is God who guides us by His Spirit, who convicts, chastens, and gives us wisdom. So we answer to God for the way we live, not anyone else. But we don’t live in a vacuum. We live, by God’s design, in a community, a family, a body of fellow believers. And our part there is not to judge others, but to judge ourselves—to ensure that what we do does not harm someone else in their walk of faith, to be willing to deny ourselves for another’s sake, to esteem them better than ourselves, to consider the effect of what we do on someone else.

Living for God in our own lives involves helping others in their walk with God, as well. It involves consideration of others for their benefit and edification, not to judge and condemn them for doing things differently than we do. And when we leave the judgment to God, we’ll have more room to live selflessly and offer love and compassion to others.

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