Judging someone through self-righteous opinions can be a habitual issue for many of those who rely and walk in the flesh. We sometimes might have caught ourselves judging other people by their faces, their clothing, their economic status, their education background, languages, races…etc. and with the same kind of attitude someone may do it against you.
Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment. John 7:24
For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; he will save us. Isaiah 33:22
Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. Matthew 7:1-2
We look at the other person’s personality and not solely based on their looks or certain actions to know who exactly they are, right? We should NOT judge anyone when we don’t have all the evidences. Do it fair-you don’t want others to do the same unto you, right? GOD is the only perfect and righteous judge of all-HE knows all; HE sees all. Discernment is when you have all the evidences, which you can see clearly what is right and wrong.
I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings. Jeremiah 17:10
There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another? James 4:12
The root meaning of “Discernment” based in the original Greek means to examine, to prove and suchlike. While the root meaning of “Judgment” means to conclude, to sentence and suchlike. There is a great difference between these two.
Don’t judge others because you have not walked their every step, experienced their every emotion, feeling and all they have been through from the very day one. We must be careful NOT to judge someone straightforwardly. It is pride to judge someone based on partial evidence or incomplete evidence according to the outward parts of the person, believing the self-righteous opinion as right. As you may know, pride is a disgusting sin and an abomination to GOD.
Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:18
Here is an example, you walked on the street seeing a person who have tattoos all over her body and then you thought “she have tattoos which is a sin-she must be going to hell”, “she haven’t even repented of her sin of having tattoo on her body, it is all still there.” and “she is not a Christian, and she even dress like a prostitute, she must be one of them anyway!”
Do you see what erred in that situation? It is the immediate conclusion of who that person is, based upon the person’s look at first sight, without having all the evidences to prove the judgments, that have made from the heart to be a sound decision.
Also, concerning the first two thoughts above, here is something to think about-what if that woman have already repented and asked for forgiveness from GOD in regards of her tattoos? She is still having the tattoos on her body, one of the possibility could be because she is unable to afford thousands of dollars to remove all of her tattoos. If you think that she must remove all of these tattoos, not just repentance and asking for forgiveness, then only then will she be able to go to Heaven. Then, you are putting CHRIST’s sacrifice on the cross for the forgiveness of sins to no effect, basing on man’s doctrine and the laws of man, which is not GOD’s. If so, then you need to repent.
Regarding the last thought in the above example, the person who have made the judgments don’t even know whether she is truly a Christian or not and whether she is a prostitute or not, but just simply based on her looks, then she jumped into conclusion without all the evidence. Do you see how this person wronged here?
Before you are tempted into judging others, ask yourself this question “Do I truly know this person’s entire circumstance, motive, thoughts and whole story behind?” Do not assume someone without all the evidences, but doesn’t mean you cannot discern things.
You do not want unfair judgment, do you?
For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. Matthew 7:2
We are to love others as ourselves. Imagine if you are telling the person you have wrongly judged upon of all the statements you have made about her, and when it is not true-how hurt would it be to be misunderstood! Don’t be hypocritical! If you want others to love you, you are to love them too! If you want others not to judge you this way, then don’t judge others too, knowing how without proper discernment can hurt feelings. We are to treat others the way of how we want others to treat us. You love yourself, yes?
And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. Mark 12:31
In regards of discernment, there may be times when you read or heard prophecies online or somewhere else, you may wonder who are the true and false ones. Surely, there are false prophets out there in this world today, although at the same time there are also true highly anointed prophets of GOD. Below are some scriptures this in regards of hearing from GOD.
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: John 10:27
And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: Acts 2:17-18
Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy. 1 Corinthians 14:1
Despise not prophesyings. 1 Thessalonians 5:20
In this situation when you come into prophecies, setting a high level of discernment is always to be done. Discernment can come from your knowledge from the scripture-the TRUTH! (the more the better) and checking the fruits of the prophets. Are they humble? Do they come to you in love? Beware of prosperity driven prophets and teachers, who demands you money for what they offer in CHRIST’s name. Asking for divine discernment and clarification from GOD through the power and guidance of the HOLY SPIRIT in your prayers is a good way towards prophecies that you might have read or heard from. Always walk in the spirit and stick to GOD.
For example, a prophet say that The LORD told her that HE is coming on a certain date. Checking the scripture, you would know this verse below to confirm what is right and wrong:
But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. Matthew 24:36
Moreover, when their set date of the rapture do not happen and they say that the bridegroom have delayed? Can you see their errors? They are pointing that GOD is a liar, but in fact GOD is NOT a liar. They are also pointing that GOD has sinned, for lying is a sin. What? Really? GOD HAVE NEVER SINNED! HE is perfect and never ever make a mistake. What HE says do not come back void.
Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: 1 Peter 2:22
So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. Isaiah 55:11
If you have read a prophecy and it doesn’t seem right and settling to your spirit after checking for scriptures confirmation. I suggest you to put them into suspect list rather than instantly labeling them afterwards as a “false prophet” and keep pursuing GOD about the truth-confirmations of this prophecy’s authenticity. We can test the spirits by seeing whether their prophecies come to pass. I personally do not think it is a good thing to argue over GOD’s words and sowing discord among brethren.
It is best to study well of the bible before going into prophecies, because it is very dangerous when you don’t know the truth and just accept whatever that the prophecies are feeding you, saying that it is true. Then you may got false teachings in you that you thought it was true as they told you so. You may not know that you are actually being deceived! How risky is this to your soul and for the sake of your eternity’s destination? Accepting false teachings is something that we must seriously deal with as soon as we are convicted by the HOLY SPIRIT or learning the truth afterwards.
Be always careful and it is better not to be too opened at first into believing all that they say without proper discernment. Be watchful not to stumble over prophecies and even teachings that tickles your ears. Remember, the truth is not meant to be sugar coated. It is raw and offensive to many people in this world. Proclaiming it could lead to persecution, although blessed are those who are being persecuted for righteousness and CHRIST’s sake. Great are the rewards in Heaven for these people. The truth is not here to compromise with your sinful ways.
Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. Matthew 5:10-12
Be aware and stay alert of those wolves in sheep’s clothing. They who use bible verses and support their sayings, in fact they are not true and the biblical references they have attached do not make complete sense out of it-stay away from these false teachers or prophets. You really have to look closer to the scripture, always with the help of the HOLY SPIRIT because only through HIM we can understand the true meaning of the biblical context.
I do not think prophecies are normally suitable for Christians who are still on the milk and/or those who are just recently came to CHRIST. It is best to always study the bible as a baby Christian.
There may be an occurrence where a true prophet of GOD who had been affected by a divination or familiar spirit-words spoken to his mind that are not from The LORD. But that doesn’t mean that the follower of CHRIST do not have a HOLY SPIRIT within them nor does that mean they are not a true witness of GOD. They may be unintentional due to being deceived by the lies of the enemy or thought the words were from GOD based on their own carnal mind.
Do you think it is wise for whatever reasons that you feel that the prophet is suspicious and then accuse them for being influenced by the devil? What if that prophet is really the prophet of The Most High GOD who are influenced by The HOLY SPIRIT?
Sometimes it is also good to self check, examining whether you have really misunderstood the scripture or not and whether you have just heard some parts of the prophecy or their teachings, which could easily lead to misunderstanding of what they are saying. Sometimes when you read a verse out of the bible, it may not always be what it seems, until we find harmony throughout the scriptures between similar verses and knowing the whole context to get the whole picture-especially reading the whole chapter could help you. Without complete reading is like looking at an incomplete puzzle, which could lead to confusion and deception. Remember, The LORD is not a GOD of confusion. HE is the truth, therefore seek truth!
For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. 1 Corinthians 14:33
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:6
Do not judge someone, accusing someone being a false witness without getting direct confirmation after confirmation from GOD. Don’t let pride betray you! It is NOT good to come against the children of GOD. We should not trust others nor ourselves. Cursed is he who trusts in man and not GOD. Trusting others who are blind, then the blind who leads the blind both would fall into the ditch! Trust GOD alone because HE alone is trustworthy and HE never fails nor disappoint. Rumors are not reliable, but GOD is!
Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD. Jeremiah 17:5
Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. Jeremiah 17:7
When we see someone is in sin and they don’t even know it, other than judging them, we are to witness to them about the sin in a loving manner so to lead them back into the right path.
See this verse below:
For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment; And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool: Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts? James 2:2-4
We should not judge others according to their appearance, when we judge like this there comes pride. Pride goes into many different direction and one of them is partiality. We should not have any partiality with anyone, for instance when you see a group of people in different colors of skin and judge them by thinking a certain skin tone of people are better-is this not evil thought?
For there is no respect of persons with God. Romans 2:11
But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors. James 2:9
We should love one another with pure unconditional love. Love do not come from pride, but rather it is a humble submission. Do not compare with others, because when you have better hair than the others and when you try to be prideful by boasting yourself because of your look is a sin to GOD. Also, when you see a famous branded car that you don’t have and you started to compare, there could come covetousness, envying and jealousy. We are to put all evil thoughts away and focus in doing what is right and pleasing to The LORD. Focus in love, for it is a powerful weapon against evils.
- Larry Dozier. (2013). Discernment & Judgment – What’s the Difference?. Available: http://m.blogs.christianpost.com/biblical-spirituality/do-you-know-the-difference-between-discernment-judgment-16255/. Last accessed 19th Jun 2014.
- Kita KaT. (2014). Warning from Holy Spirit . [Online Video]. 09 February. Available from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hcn9BS6DWMw. [Accessed: 19 June 2014].
- King James Version Bible