—Matthew 7:1-2 NKJV
God has given us His Word by which we judge if something is right or wrong. But judging, when based on what we feel instead of what we know is true, becomes subjective. There is not only a right and wrong way to judge. What we judge is also important. It is not wrong to judge if something a person has done or said offends us. That is just life. You cannot go through life without being offended by someone. The problem is when we judge someone’s motive. Judging the motive behind someone’s word or action is wrong. We don’t know what is in another person’s heart. And truthfully, sometimes we do not even realize the real motive behind what we do. So how can we judge the motive of someone else?
In judging another person’s motive, you set yourself up to be judged in return. When you judge the motive behind someone’s action or reaction, you set yourself up to experience a range of hurtful emotions. You not only judge the motive behind their words or action, but you place yourself in a position where the offense makes you defensive. And then you react out of your hurt and pain. Your emotions are subject to being manipulated by the enemy—and old and new wounds have the power to direct your actions. In your judgment of another person’s motive, you are reminded of every insufficiency in your life, and you see insufficiency in the lives of others. In your judgment of another person’s motive, you frustrate love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control in your own life.
God determines right or wrong in our lives. He gives us His Word so we can know if our actions or someone else’s actions are right or wrong. The problem is when we judge the motive behind another person’s action. The problem is when we react out of our feelings instead of out of His truth.
Don’t judge the motive of someone else. Don’t react out of what you feel. You become harsh. And those of us who are harsh with others are treated the same way. When you injure someone they want to strike back. But when we sow mercy, we reap mercy (Matthew 5:7). How we respond to others is what we receive in return (Matthew 7:12).
God alone knows the motive in someone’s heart. Ours included. With the measure we use to judge another person’s heart, it will be measured back to us.
© 2022 Lynn Lacher