“According to our Law we cannot condemn people before hearing them and finding out what they have done.”
John 7:51 (GNT)
It’s hard to be judgmental when you’re trying to listen with compassion, honesty, sincerity, and fairness. James 1:19 says, “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry” (NIV). Listen first before you judge.
One time the Pharisees were trying to judge Jesus without letting him have a say or explain himself. They didn’t want to hear his side of the story. But Nicodemus, one of the Pharisees, spoke up and said, “According to our Law we cannot condemn people before hearing them and finding out what they have done” (John 7:51 GNT).
How many times have you judged someone—your child, your spouse, your neighbor, your enemy—without listening to their story first? Have you found yourself treating someone the same way the Pharisees treated Jesus?
When you feel the urge to judge someone, stop and take a breath. Hold that breath if you need to—if that’s what it takes for you to listen before you speak! If you don’t listen first, you are committing the sin of judging others.
Do you think something needs to come to light in someone’s life? That thing probably is not yours to expose. Let God take care of it. Your job is to listen first. Try to understand before judging someone’s struggle.
Jesus said, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” (Matthew 7:1-2 NIV).
Do to others as you would have them do to you. Listen in love, and let God be the judge.
Talk It Over
Why do you think many people believe they can do a better job than God at judging people?
How does listening to your loved ones before judging them help you to truly understand them?
What is one thing you can practice doing during conversations so that you can become a better listener?
The Elevation Church (TEC) has been set up by God to develop its members as witnesses of Christ while empowering them to achieve the highest levels of distinction in life, led by Pastor Godman Akinlabi, the church is based in Nigeria with multiple expressions in Lagos.