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Posts Tagged ‘fairness’

Opinions and Judgments

May 5th, 2014

“In the same way that you judge others, you will be judged. Matthew 7:2 NIV.

 Be charitable in your opinions and careful in your judgments.

My thoughts and comments today are about “opinions and judgments.”

It is easy to misjudge. You can certainly misunderstand what another person has said or is reported to have said, or misinterpret what a person has done or been accused of doing, or mistake someone’s motive – wrongly presuming that you know what another was thinking or intending. Doing so leads to misjudgments.

Harm comes from misjudgments. You cannot be sure of your own motivations. How could you possibly be certain of someone else’s? Read Jeremiah 17:9-10. The Bible cautions, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way that you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Matthew 7:1-2 NIV. That should give anyone cause for caution.

A friend taught me a practical way to differentiate between having an opinion and making a judgment. Those may seem similar, but they are worlds apart. Opinions are plenteous, even unavoidable. Everybody has them; some people have too many of them for anyone’s good – and too many of the ones they have are frequently incorrect. People have opinions about matters that are their business and some that are not. The danger comes from holding strong opinions that are often nothing more than an individual’s likes or dislikes, preferences or prejudices, as much unexplainable whim as any firm reason. Don’t confuse your subjective opinion with an accurate, objective judgment.

The matter of judgments is more serious. There are judgments that should be made, and must be made, but those should be left to those who have been given the authority and responsibility to make them. When tempted to pass judgment on someone or something, first ask yourself, “Is this my God-given responsibility and authority?”

The Godly principle is simple and practical; if you don’t have the proper responsibility, be assured you have not been given rightful authority. God does not permit you to judge where He does not authorize you to rule. “Each of us will give an account of himself to God. Therefore, let us stop passing judgment on one another . . God alone, who made the Law, can rightly judge among us.” Romans 14:10-13 NIV/James 4:11-12 NLT. Ultimately, God’s opinion is the only one that matters eternally. “He will judge the world with justice and rule the nations with fairness.” See Psalm 9:7-8 NLT.

You will be happier and enjoy better relationships if you recognize what is best left to others, and take better care of responsibilities that are yours. Be charitable in your opinions and careful in your judgments. You don’t know all there is to know; don’t be so sure of what you do. I wish I could say that I have learned the principle well and practice it better, but I still live in what my friend, Campbell, described as, “The biggest room in the world – the room for improvement.”

My prayer for you today is that you do not confuse your opinions with God’s judgments.

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God Makes Life Make Sense

September 11th, 2013

“Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?” Genesis 18:25 NIV.

The hurt you feel is not apart from the hope you have and healing you need.

My thoughts and comments today are that “God makes life make sense”

Life isn’t fair; serious disappointment waits for those who expect it to be. Today, September 11, is a stained date on America’s calendar when our stunned nation puzzled how crazed jihadists would rob hearts and homes of more than three thousand lives, guilty of nothing more than going to work that morning. Everything in our national grief cried, “Unfair!”

Unfair; everyone feels that way sometimes. Jesus told a parable about workers in a vineyard who agreed to a proper day’s wage for a full day’s work. Read Matthew 20:1-16 NLT. As the day progressed, other workers were needed and hired. But at the end of the day, the owner of the vineyard said, “I wanted to pay this last man the same as you . . should you be angry because I am kind?” Matthew 20:14 NKJV. “Unfair,” seemed a legitimate complaint! Read Vs. 8-12. See Isaiah 55:8-9 NLT. With which worker did you first identify – the ones who got what they agreed to receive or the ones who received a grace they could not earn? We have more likely and more frequently been the latter. See 2 Corinthians 5:21 NIV.

Probably one of the important questions of everyday life is: do you trust God to be fair? When he interceded for God to spare Sodom, Abraham affirmed his trust by a rhetorical question whose answer assumed to be obvious, “Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?” Genesis 18:25 NIV. Of course, God will! He is righteous and cannot do less. And He will always do right by you.

“Unfair!” That’s a familiar exclamation or emotion anyone might say or feel.From a child’s earliest years there seems to be an innate sense of fairness, not so much in evidence when you are the one getting the best deal but certainly when someone else is and you are not. People never seem to outgrow the need to be first, have the most, the best, or the biggest; do we? When you don’t and someone else does – that you think deserves it less than you – your feelings scream, “Unfair!”

In their pain and tears, I have heard many good people say, “Life isn’t fair.” And they had every right to feel that way. The hurt you feel is not apart from the hope you have and the healing you need. A good person struggles with hardships, while a lesser person lives carefree. A hard working person seems not to get a break; another stumbles into unbelievably good fortuneLife isn’t fair. But God is just – every time, all the time. See 2 Timothy 4:7-8 NIV.

The Psalmist anguished over the incongruity that the wicked prospered yet the righteous suffered. The inequities bewildered him; “But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold . . when I saw the prosperity of the wicked . . Till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny.” Read Psalm 73:1-28 NIV. There is a sanctuary for you where God makes life make sense. One day, the scales of justice are balanced, the wrongs made right, the innocent vindicated, the guilty punished.

My prayer for you today is that you trust in the goodness of a righteous God.

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