June 2012
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Judge Rightly

After a national news magazine posted an online story listing my community as one of the top-10 dying cities in the nation, local citizens were outraged. They registered their indignation, pointing out evidence to the contrary. One resident went to great lengths to disprove the harsh judgment. He recruited local citizens to show up downtown and appear in a video that showcased the vibrancy of our community. The video received international attention, and the news magazine admitted it was wrong. But the organization that had done the “research” stood by the conclusion, even though it was based on limited criteria.

Their self-defense surprised me because their careless conclusion seemed indefensible. But then I thought of how common it is to make faulty judgments based on minimal information. One of the classic biblical examples is that of Job’s friends. They wrongly concluded that because a series of tragedies happened to him, Job had sinned.

In the end, God defended Job and offered a startling conclusion. He didn’t rebuke his friends for judging Job but for speaking falsely about Himself (Job 42:7). This is a humbling reminder that when we make careless judgments about others, we are sinning against God.

Lord, please restrain my lips when I’m tempted to say
what I shouldn’t say about people made in
Your image. Use my words to bless and not harm.
May I reflect Your heart.
If you are a Christian, remember that people judge your Lord by you.