Therefore, do not make any judgment before the appointed time, until the Lord comes, for he will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will manifest the motives of our hearts, and then everyone will receive praise from God. 1 Corinthians 4:5 NABRE
Paul in this section of the letter to the community at Corinth is addressing the community’s judgement of the ministers who are leading the church. Paul is not interested in judgement of any kind except that of the Lord. He won’t change his way based on judgment, even his own judgement of himself. He is not aware of anything he is doing that can be judged against him and feels he is free of any guilt, his term acquitted. Ultimately Paul tells the people to not make any judgement. At the appointed time the Lord will come and he will make everything known, particularly the motives of those judging and those being judged, which after all is the most important aspect of anything. It is our intention, our motive, that concerns God. God won’t judge us well if we do good work but for the wrong reason and will judge us well if we do something bad but with the best of intentions. Paul is so confident in God’s judgment he says everyone will receive praise from God. Paul already knows the hearts of the followers and the ministers is for the good, they have good intentions and God will be pleased and praise what they are doing.
We are told not to judge, but we are constantly making little judgments. Is the clerk helping me? Does the stranger care about me? Can I trust the store employee taking me money? When we meet someone we judge. We won’t stop. But, we should never condemn. Let God be the judge of elevation and condemnation. We should always give others the benefit of the doubt.
Do you judge yourself well as a disciple? Are you confident in God’s praise of your intentions?When we meet someone we judge. We won't stop. But, we should never condemn. Let God be the judge of elevation and condemnation. Click To Tweet
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