We have all heard the old saying, “Don’t judge a book by the cover.” The Bible actually tells us to not judge one another at all. Luke 6:37a say, “Judge not, and you shall not be judged.” It is easy to see why God tells us not to judge others. We judge by our natural senses and not the things of God. Jesus told the Pharisees in John 8:15, “You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one.” Imagine walking up to your church to see a homeless man asking for food outside. As you sit comfortably in your chair awaiting church to start, the homeless man walks inside and onto the stage. The “disguised” homeless man now reveals himself as the new pastor of the church. Imagine the conviction on the people’s hearts that did not even speak to the man as they walked by him entering the church, because they had judged him on his outward appearance. You can see this scripturally with the story of Paul and Ananias in Acts 9:10-19.
God told Ananias to go to Paul and pray for him. Ananias was originally hesitant because he had heard stories about Paul. Paul had imprisoned and ultimately killed many Christians (Acts 26:10-11). However, Ananias did not judge, and was not led by what he had heard Paul did. Ananias was led by God. He prayed for Paul. Paul then went on to write most of the New Testament and minister to many people for the Lord. Bottom line is, do not judge other people by what they have done or said in the past. Praise the Lord that we serve a God that is looking forward, not backwards. He looks at what we CAN do in our lives and not at what we have done (Philippians 3:13b). We are not to judge others, but there is one person that we are to judge. 1 Corinthians 11:31 says, “For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged.” If you see a speck in your brother’s eye, pray for them. Then examine yourself to see if you have a plank in your own eye (Matthew 7:4). If you judge yourselves according to the Word of God and correct any wrongdoing, you will not be judged.