“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the
same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the
measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Matthew
Too many of us have too little tolerance for others. We judge
one another when we ought to be judging ourselves. For example,
a man was expressing to a minister, his dissatisfaction with
the conduct of the greeters in the church he attended. He
described the greeters as being cold, unconcerned, and abrupt
in their demeanor, hurrying people out the door. He went on
at length about the situation, when finally the minister replied.
“We should be careful about judging motives. We cannot
know the heart of another individual, and to assume that a
person is cold or uncaring because of how they greet us is
really unfair. There may be other circumstances which cause
them to seem unconcerned about you in their manner.”
He then encouraged the complainer to try to break the chain,
by taking hold of the greeter’s hand in his two hands,
and inquiring as to his welfare. For example, he could say,
“You seem hurried and distracted. Is everything all
right with you? Would you like me to pray with you about something?”
This would bring to the attention of the “greeter”
the manner in which he was performing his task without offending
him; and it would take the complainer’s focus off himself
What a wonderful word of counsel I heard that day. Hopefully,
I will not soon forget it, and perhaps may have opportunity
to employ it. The minister was right. We cannot judge another’s
heart by outward appearance. Jesus said, “Judge not,
or you too will be judged.” The reason we fall into
this error is because we may have a problem tolerating another’s
mistake. When people do not act in a way that pleases or at
least suits us, we have little time for them; and so we form
a value judgment. We not only judge the actions of others,
we judge by appearances. Perhaps they are not dressed right,
or their hair is not styled to our liking.
The definition of the word “tolerate” is “to
lift up; to endure, without injurious effect.” We are
hardly lifting up others when we are so quick to criticize
or judge their appearance or their actions. The Lord often
disguises His will. The prophet Samuel would have chosen Eliab
to replace King Saul. He judged him by his outward appearance.
But God said, “No, this is not My choice, neither are
any of these brothers who are here. Is there not another?”
Young David is out in the pasture, tending sheep. “Send
for him.” David, all smelly and sweaty came in, an unlikely
candidate as a king. But God knew David’s heart. He
knew his faults, and his weaknesses, but he also knew He could
work with them, because David had a heart after God. Look
at God’s opinion of David, recorded in Acts 13:22: “I
have found David the son of Jesse, a man after my own heart,
which shall fulfill all my will.” Would you like the
Lord to also say this about you?
“The natural man receives not the things of the Spirit
of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he
know them, because they are spiritually discerned (judged).
But he that is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself
is judged of no man” I Corinthians 2:14-15
It is only by the Spirit of God that we can begin to spiritually
discern another, and then our judgment is fair and scriptural,
not petty, mean, and self-asserting. Paul states in I Corinthians
3:1, “I could not speak unto you as unto spiritual,
but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.” The
truly spiritual individual looks for the good in others. When
indeed there is a real problem, the spiritual man or woman
searches for ways to help - to lift another to a higher realm.
The spiritual individual will pray for you, rather than judge
Isaiah 53 prophetically describes Jesus as despised and rejected
of men, having no beauty that anyone should desire Him. Little
did they know that He was the Son of God, the Savior and King
for eternity. They judged Him wrongly and mankind has suffered
for it. Israel is suffering for it. The sad commentary is
that we may be numbered with those who are intolerant of the
truth that Jesus brought.
What about our ability to tolerate God’s people today?
Are we continually finding fault with others? Jesus warns
us to first take care of the problems in our own lives; then
we may be able to see clearly to spiritually discern a brother
or sister’s problem.
Like the minister in our opening example, we can improve
the situations around us; we can lift each other by our godly
concern. Let us become part of the solution rather than part
of the problem. This is the way of the Overcomer.