Do not judge anyone before the time when the Lord comes. He will reveal the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the intentions of our hearts; then our praise will come to us from God. 1 Corinthians 4:5
Impatience often causes us not to gather enough information. Incomplete information leads to misunderstanding, misdiagnosis, and poor decisions. Sometimes snap judgments based on minimal information are necessary and appropriate. But when it comes to how we act in relationships, the rush to judgment can be disastrous. One of the most critical pieces of information for properly understanding someone else is the intention of the other person’s heart. When someone ignorantly and wrongly condemns us because they don’t know our intentions, we suffer. Paul felt the sting of being misjudged for this reason. The arrogantly framed verdict of the disciples in Corinth aggravated and alarmed him. But he responded by graciously warning them to refrain from acting as if they were God. God is the one who knows us intimately. His evaluation of our actions is the only significant one. Other people may “look on the outward appearance, but the Eternal knows the heart.” He “searches all hearts and knows every plan.” Like Paul, we can remain gracious in the face of impatient, arrogant and ignorant condemnation by remembering that the only Judge who matters will eventually appear. When we stand before him we can be confident that he will recognize and praise the good intentions others fail to see.
Righteous Judge, calm my heart in conflict and fulfill every good and praiseworthy purpose by your power. Amen.