Meditation for Monday

But why dost thou judge thy brother? Or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. Romans 14:10

What is the most important thing to consider about each of our brothers and sisters in Christ? How do we rate each of these fellow saints? By what they have done to or for us? Or by what kind of person they have been to us? Not if we take our text today seriously!

Sometimes we can be very impressed at the way certain Christians treat us. They can be kind and considerate, generous to us, and friendly whenever we encounter them. We judge these people positively and feel justified in doing so. Sometimes, we can be offended by the way certain Christians treat us. They can be distant and cool, paying little or no attention to us, and taking no interest in anything related to us. We judge these people negatively, and feel justified in doing so. Our text asks us why we do that? Unlike God, we cannot look into the hearts of these Christians and determine their motives. We don’t know whether those we judge positively are truly warm-hearted or are simply trying to curry favour with us for their own ulterior motives. We don’t know whether those we judge negatively are truly cold-hearted or are simply reflecting our sour attitude toward them. But God knows. And as our text declares, He will rightly judge the motives of that brother or sister at the Bima.

It’s natural for us to rank people we know according to how we see them. To some, we will recognize their abilities and accomplishments and esteem them highly. To some, we will recognize their lack of abilities and accomplishments, and esteem them poorly. That, as I said, is what we do naturally. But we are not to look at our fellow Christians through natural eyes, but to see them as our Lord sees them. He knows what abilities He has given to each one of us, and how we have used these abilities. He also knows what opportunities for growth, worship, and service that He has directed into our paths, and how we have responded to each of these opportunities. We can’t know all that our Lord knows about these brothers and sisters, and are surely in for some huge surprises as He assignes worth to them at the Bima.

If we try to judge the motives of our brothers and sisters, or if we rate them according to what we think they are worth, are we not trying to set up our own little judgment seat? Let us be careful because we – along with them – shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. – Jim MacIntosh

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