“Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.”
John 7:24 (KJV)
How are you all today? There seems to be quite a bit of judgment in the world. If someone looks different, acts different, or thinks different, often times they are judged without really knowing anything about them. Have you ever been judged because of a difference? If so, how did it feel?
I have been judged, too, for many things. I have been judged because of my gender, because of my clothes, because of my beliefs, because of my lack of strength, etc. I was picked on in school, ridiculed, discriminated against, and let go, just to name a few things. It isn’t fun.
It kind of reminds me of a dandelion. Do you feel like a dandelion? LOL! Yes, I know that is a strange question. I think dandelions are often misunderstood. Dandelions are often killed or dismissed as worthless and troublesome weeds. I have felt like that during some of the dark times of my life. I have felt like nobody understood me and just dismissed me as worthless or troublesome.
Yet, dandelions have many benefits and can be used for food, medicine, gardening, dye, latex, and even rubber. They have quite a bit of nutritious value. I am not saying that if not kept in check, they can’t get out of control and become detrimental. Yet, we humans can do the same if we are not kept in check. If you are interested in learning more about dandelions, Wikipedia has a great overview of them.
My point isn’t to go into all of the science behind dandelions, yet to consider how we view them and use them as an example of how we view people or any of God’s gifts.
I grew up thinking of dandelions as weeds, just like so many people I know. However, at some point, I started looking into the uses of dandelions. I am rather new to dandelion use. Although, I have had dandelion greens in salad instead of lettuce and I have also made some dandelion tea. I hope to get more experienced with the many productive uses of dandelions. I am guessing that the more I get use dandelions in a productive way, the more I will value them.
It is the same with people. Many times the key to not judging someone is to get to know them better. People are not to be judged by other people. God is the true judge. And, once we get to know people, if we meet them with an open mind, often we don’t feel a need to judge them anyway.
Prejudice is like a terrible disease. It affects not only the one who is judged, but the one who is does the judging. Each time we are judged or judge others, it changes us in some way. Bit by bit, it tears us down and brings us farther and farther from God. We miss out on so much by judging or being judged. God is the only one true judge. It is better to leave the judgments up to Him.
One can instead think of it this way; despite the plethora of outward appearances of people all over the world, there are only two kinds of people; people who are for God and people who are against God. The rest doesn’t matter. Race, emotional status, physical stature, financial status, gender, etc. doesn’t matter. God made us all good and in His image. Some, however, may fall away from God. They may turn against Him. We can lean towards the ways of the people who are for God and away from the ways of the people who are against God. There is a difference between leaning away from the ways of ungodly people and being prejudice because someone is a different color, gender, status, or age without knowing whether they are for or against God.
Thank you for being our Almighty Creator and Heavenly Father. In your infinite wisdom, you created people all differently with an array of looks, strengths, weaknesses, gifts, and misgivings. We are all different. Help us to remember that you are our Almighty Creator and our Heavenly Father. Remind us that it is not up to us to be prejudice or judgmental, because that is up to you. Help us, though, to lean towards the ways of the people who are for you and away from the ways of the people who are against you.
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Reflective Questions for John 7:24 (KJV):
*What does John 7:24 mean to me?
*Have I ever been judged? If so, how did it feel?
*Have I ever judged others?
*Have I judged someone without really getting to know him or her?
*What can I do to lessen the sting of prejudice in the world?
*What can I do so that I remember not to be prejudice?
Note: If you would like more reflective questions to help you to understand the message in the Bible better, sign up and download the "5 Reflective Questions to Delve Deeper into God's Word" by DUO Inspirations below. It is FREE!
This is Jodi. I am so glad you are here! I am a Christian and life-long learner. I enjoy sharing and encouraging others. I pray you are blessed by this blog. Thank you for being here.