7 “Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly.”
John 7:24 (NIV)
"There is no expedient to which a man will not resort to avoid the real labor of thinking." Sir Joshua Reynolds
Sir Joshua Reynolds is right. We will do about anything we can to not think deeply about anything. It happens all the time … and it's hard to stop. Right judgment doesn't come easy. Here's what I mean:
We judge a book by its cover.
We take the easy way out way more often than we think.
We avoid humility, speak before listening, defer obedience, delay the inevitable, and walk away from problems.
Jesus offers some great coaching on making right judgments about ourselves, others, situations and life itself.
He wants us to see beyond sight; to get past mere appearances. He tells us that judging by mere appearance has got to stop -- it will kill us if we don't. See Proverbs 14:12; 16:25.
Seeing beyond sight, consistently making right judgments, starts with:
HUMILITY: Allow Someone else to “assist” you in making great judgments. Don't try to score all your buckets in life playing one on one. Let others help you score.
PETITION: Ask for help in seeing life the right way. We love watching a game official confer with another partner to help him make the right call.
That holds true in life too. Petition the best ref, video guy, teammate there is: the blessed Trinity. Petition God at His Word. Ask others who are trusted and wise. Read a good biography.
REJECTION: Reject what's easy in favor of what's right, what's best. Easy ain't right, it's just easy. Reject the passivity that “easy” too often serves up.
Don't take easy ways out by making hasty generalizations, drawing quick conclusions, making snap decisions. Avoid comfort (in any form) a little more than you care to. It's better for you in the long run.
Reflect: How good are you at judging by mere appearance? Are you taking too much pride in this skill, putting too much stock in first impressions?
Or are you looking at what God looks at and judging and evaluating life through His eyes? Right judgment starts with right sight.
A prayer to consider: O Jesus, give me eyes to really see and ears to really hear. Help me put an end to my shallow ways of evaluating life. Grant me right judgment like only You can. I need You. Thank you by faith. Amen.