Not the Judge

Author: A. W. Smith — Host: Dylan KraayenbrinkPosted on: December 8, 2023

Unlocked: Daily Devotions for Teens
Not the Judge

READ: MATTHEW 7:1-5; JAMES 4:11-12

It’s such an easy temptation. How quick we as humans are to make judgments by pointing a finger at someone else instead of looking at the problems in our own lives.

It can be so easy to criticize the way other people live. When was the last time you found yourself judging others for the things they do that are different from what you think is right? It’s easier to point out other people’s shortcomings instead of our own, isn’t it? But that’s not how Jesus calls us to live. He died on the cross and rose from the grave for all sin—including yours—and He’s the only One who can judge. He calls us to focus on living our own lives and leave the judgment to Him.

But what if we see somebody do something wrong? you might ask. We have to make judgments sometimes, don’t we?

Yes, there are times when we need to confront others about wrongdoing or tell someone in authority so they can help—especially if a person’s actions will hurt themselves or someone else. But that doesn’t give us a right to put ourselves above someone else, to think of ourselves as better than other people because the sins they struggle with might be different from the sins we struggle with. The fact is, we all desperately need Jesus—He’s the only perfect person who’s ever lived. He’s the only One who never sinned, and His death and resurrection is the only way we can be forgiven and restored to relationship with God. Let’s not lose sight of this good news by pointing fingers at each other. Instead, let’s remember that God desires to bring us close to Himself, to heal our lives from sin, and to make us new. We need to leave the judging up to Him…because He is the only just Judge. • A. W. Smith

• Are there sins you find easier to judge? Why do you think that is? Consider taking a moment to talk to Jesus about this.

• How can knowing that Jesus is a just Judge give us comfort when we see things go so wrong in our broken world?

• How can knowing that Jesus will right every wrong when He returns help us love our neighbors like Jesus loves us? (1 John 4:19)

There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you— who are you to judge your neighbor? James 4:12 (NIV)