to Judge Rightly
The headlines are full of wars and
reports of wars, of unrighteous acts
by some people against other people, and of social institutions which
are supposed to determine who is right and who is wrong being ignored
or vilified or being ineffective to settle issues among people.
So, how does one determine right from
wrong? Some would say that
"might is right", while others would follow some other guideline.
It is apparent that Hitler and Stalin and Pol Pot and many others who
are now held as examples of blatant unrighteousness thought that they
were right in doing what they did.
I believe that Jesus gave us a valid
principle when it comes to making
right judgments and living life according to those right
decisions. He said that no one can have the vision to make right
judgments unless he or she first removes from one's own vision that
which clouds one's vision. He called these hindrances 'a mote
(splinter)' or 'a log (beam)' (in the King James translation of the
Christian Bible). Here is the passage of the Bible which contains
Jesus' instructions concerning righteous judgments:
Judge not, that you may
not be judged.
Mat 7:2 For with whatever judgment you judge, you shall be
judged; and with whatever measure you measure out, it shall be measured
to you again.
Mat 7:3 And why do you look on the splinter that is in your
brother's eye, but do not consider the beam that is in your own eye?
Mat 7:4 Or how will you say to your brother, Let me pull the
splinter out of your eye; and, behold, a beam is in your own eye?
Mat 7:5 Hypocrite! First cast the beam out of your own eye, and
then you shall see clearly to cast the splinter out of your brother's
So, the most important beginning of
the process of making right
judgments is to make sure that one's own vision is clear and used to
judge one's self first before turning one's vision on another.
And that begs the question, "How do I
I suggest that judging one's self
rightly is impossible for anyone to
do alone. We all need a guiding light to show the way to discern
truth from error, and rightness from wrongness. And we need to realize
that there are issues of the mind, but these mind issues are often
overridden by issues of the heart. We need someone (or Someone)
whose own vision is not clouded by selfishness and pride and lack of
all the pertinent facts and who is free from all prejudices and
external motives to help us judge ourselves rightly so that we can
avoid judging other wrongly and instead judge ourselves and others
rightly as needed.
I am eternally grateful to a young
man whose name I forget, with whom I
was acquainted in 1976 when my own issues of rightness and wrongness
had come to the forefront of my life. I was facing serious
emotional and moral issues in my life and family, and found that I did
not have the ability or desire to do what 'was right'. I wanted
to do what I wanted to do. Period. But I could not figure
out how to get what I wanted to get, which was to be loved and to love
Then I occasioned to chat with my
acquaintance, who was a Christian and
a college student of business management. I told him of the
monumental issues I was facing, and he asked me, "If there was someone
who cared for you like
no one else cares for you, and was willing and able to help you to
manage your life most successfully, would you allow that person to help
you manage your life?" I
thought about this statement, and
realized that I would be a fool to turn down such an offer. I was
wondering who my friend was referring to. I could not think of
anyone who fit that description. I told my friend that
realization, and he replied, "His name is Jesus."
I was shocked! I had attended
churches all of my life - both
'protestant' and Catholic, and had never heard of such a personal
relationship with Jesus! But I could tell from the smile on my
friend's face that he had faced the same questions and challenges of
life, and had found his answers from Jesus Christ.
So I spent about two week trying to
figure out how to get the answers I
needed from Jesus while still remaining in control of my life. At
the end of those two weeks I realized two things: 1) no one can
exclusively manage their own life and also get someone (or Someone)
else to help manage; and 2) Jesus could not do any worse that I was
doing in managing my life! (grin - I laugh now, but was not laughing
By that time my Christian management
friend was unavailable, so I
called on another Christian friend who had come into my life to tell me
what to do next.
We met in the second floor lounge of
the business building on the
campus of Bowling Green State University, and I asked her what I needed
to do next. She said, "Get down on your knees because you are
going to be talking to the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords."
I has the impression that this was the most monumental decision of my
So I got down on my knees and
something monumental happened. When
my knees touched the carpet 26 years worth of tears were released from
my heart! I cried like a baby until I ran out of tears! All
the while my friend was praying things that I could not hear or
understand because I was wailing so loudly. But when I got up off
of my knees I looked around and perceived that everything had
changed. I later realized that my perception that everything had
changed was due to the fact that my heart had changed!
Perhaps a year later I read in the
Bible about God's old and new
arrangements with mankind in the prophet Jeremiah's book:
Behold, the days
come, says Jehovah, that I will cut a new covenant with the house of
Israel, and with the house of Judah, not according to the
covenant that I cut with their fathers in the day I took them by the
hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt [the Ten Commandments];
which covenant of Mine they broke, although I was a husband to them,
says Jehovah; but this shall be the covenant that I will cut with the
house of Israel: After those days, says Jehovah, I will put My Law in
their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and I will be their
God, and they shall be My people. And they shall no more teach each man
his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, 'Know Jehovah'; for they
shall all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says
Jehovah. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their
sins no more.
I read that passage and realized that
I had received a spiritual heart
transplant that 15th day of May, 1976, in the Business Building lounge
That day began a process of receiving
new sight, and gradual
improvements in my spiritual sight as veils were removed from the eyes
of my heart as Jesus revealed to me prejudices and mistaken
understandings and attitudes which allowed me to see myself more truly,
and to understand others more truly as a result.
Then He led me into the understanding
that I could be crucified with
Him and nevertheless live, as the Apostle Paul described it in his
letter to the Galatians:
Gal 2:19 For
through the Law I
died to the law, that I might live to God.
Gal 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ, and I live; yet no
longer I, but Christ lives in me. And that life I now live in the
flesh, I live by faith toward the Son of God, who loved me and gave
Himself on my behalf.
Gal 2:21 I do not set aside the grace of God, for if
righteousness is through law, then Christ died without cause.
I have found that what
Jesus required of His disciples - that they deny themselves daily, take
up their cross and accompany Him - can be actually accomplished by
claiming His sufferings on the cross, His death, burial and
resurrection as our own suffering, death, burial and resurrection which
sets a person free from the pride and prejudice, the selfishness and
arrogance, which afflict mankind in various ways so that we can live a
life of growing rightness with God and each other as we accept and heed
His upward call to us to be reconciled with our heavenly Father, to
know Him and to rule and reign with Him now and forever!
I believe that it is a great plan
that God has for His creation, and I
can testify from personal experience so far for 37 years that my life
is being transformed for the better as I continue to decrease and Jesus
continues to increase in my life and in the world around me. I
have a joy and peace that I never had before May 15, 1976, and am able
to understand myself and others better than ever, and to see God's
plans and purposes unfolding in the midst of the chaos and
unrighteousness of society as we know it.