Helpfinder Sampler - Page 13

Passing judgment on others is second nature to most of us. We see a child acting up
and condemn the parent for poor discipline. Someone speaks up for what he believes
and we instantly categorize him. The problem with judging others is that we see the person’s words and actions through a negative filter in our mind. Our perspective narrows
to include only their faults when, really, it should be broad enough to include their goodness, too. The Bible warns us against judging others. When we judge others, we assume
we know their thoughts and motives and are qualified to pronounce judgment. In reality,
only God can know a person’s heart. Before we jump to conclusions about someone, it
helps to remember hurts we’ve experienced when others wrongfully judged us. This will
broaden our perspective toward people, ridding us of the negative filter that defiles their
reputation. Seeing others as Jesus sees them, as God’s children worthy of love and kindness, will replace judgment with mercy.
How do assumptions hurt people? What is the danger in making assumptions?
• 1 S A M UE L 1 :1 2 - 1 5 | As she was praying to the Lord, Eli watched her. Seeing her lips moving but hearing no sound, he thought she had been drinking. “Must you come here drunk?”
he demanded. . . . “Oh no, sir!” she replied, “I haven’t been drinking. . . . I was pouring out
my heart to the Lord.”
Sometimes an assumption presumes to know an answer before a question is asked.
Assumptions are often unfair because they judge another person before the facts are
• J O B 1 1 :1 3 - 1 4 | “If only you would prepare your heart and lift up your hands to him in
prayer! Get rid of your sins, and leave all iniquity behind you.”
Sometimes an assumption asks the right question but jumps too quickly to the wrong
answer. In this case, Job’s friends couldn’t explain why Job was suffering, so they assumed
he had sinned and brought God’s punishment on himself. They were asking the right question—why?—but coming up with the wrong answer.
• I SA I A H 5 5 : 8 | “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways
are far beyond anything you could imagine.”
Our natural assumptions rarely align themselves with the way God thinks. If you want to
understand how God acts, you must work to understand how he thinks.
• GE N ES I S 4 3 :1 8 | The brothers were terrified when they saw that they were being taken
into Joseph’s house. “It’s because of the money someone put in our sacks last time we
were here,” they said. “He plans to pretend that we stole it. Then he will seize us, make us
slaves, and take our donkeys.”
• 2 S A M UE L 1 0 :3 | The Ammonite commanders said to Hanun, their master, “Do you really
think these men are coming here to honor your father? No! David has sent them to spy out
the city so they can come in and conquer it!”
Fear can cause you to assume the worst about people and their intentions. If you consistently assume the worst about others, you can become suspicious and paranoid. You will
also hurt others as you try to keep away from them.
• PR O V E R B S 2 5 :8 | Don’t be in a hurry to go to court. For what will you do in the end if your
neighbor deals you a shameful defeat?
Assumptions are often made too quickly. There is an old saying, “Haste makes waste.”
When you are too quick to judge before having all the information, you make poor decisions that you later regret.
• GE N ES I S 1 8 :1 2 | So she laughed silently to herself and said, “How could a worn-out
woman like me enjoy such pleasure . . . ?”
Assumptions made from a human viewpoint lead to actions made only from a human
viewpoint; this can close the door to God’s miracles in your life. When you are open to the
possibilities of God working in your life, you begin to see his work around you more clearly.
God promises to work in your life, but you must see your life from his perspective or else
you will be blind to what he is doing in you and through you.
• ECCLES IAS TES 10:13 | Fools base their thoughts on foolish assumptions, so their
conclusions will be wicked madness.
Wrong assumptions lead to wrong conclusions. And wrong conclusions lead to wrong
• 1 TIMOTHY 1:4 | Don’t let them waste their time in endless discussion of myths and
spiritual pedigrees. These things only lead to meaningless speculations, which don’t help
people live a life of faith in God.
Wrong assumptions can lead to arguments and even threaten our relationships with
others. When we assume we are right, we also assume the other person is wrong, so we
set out to prove our rightness and their wrongness. This puts us in the dangerous position
of judging others and ascribing guilt to someone who might not be guilty. It also makes us
look foolish when our assumptions prove incorrect.
• JON AH 3:10—4:2 | When God saw . . . how they had put a stop to their evil ways, he
changed his mind and did not carry out the destruction he had threatened. This change
of plans greatly upset Jonah, and he became very angry. So he complained to the Lord
about it.
• ACTS 9:13 | “But Lord,” exclaimed Ananias, “I’ve heard many people talk about the
terrible things this man has done to the believers in Jerusalem!”
Sometimes an assumption causes you to give up on people instead of seeing them
through God’s eyes. Jonah assumed that the Ninevites could never be saved. Ananias
assumed Paul could never be redeemed. When you judge others spiritually, you doubt
that almighty God has the power to change lives.
Judging Others continued
page A189
What are some assumptions I should avoid? What should I not assume?
• JOHN 14:6 | Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the
Father except through me.”
Don’t just assume you will go to heaven. The Bible says the only way to heaven is by
accepting Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
• ROMAN S 5:8 | God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we
were still sinners.
• MATTHEW 6:30 | “And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and
thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?”
• 1 P ETER 5:7 | Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.
Don’t assume God doesn’t care, for evidence shows he clearly does.
• JUD GES 6:13 | “Sir,” Gideon replied, “if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to
us? And where are all the miracles our ancestors told us about? Didn’t they say, ‘The Lord
brought us up out of Egypt’? But now the Lord has abandoned us and handed us over to
the Midianites.”
Don’t assume God won’t help you or doesn’t want to help you, for he has already done so
in more ways than you know, and he will continue to do so. And don’t assume you know
better than God how to fix your problems.
• LUKE 8:35- 36 | A crowd soon gathered around Jesus, and they saw the man who had
been freed from the demons. He was sitting at Jesus’ feet, fully clothed and perfectly sane,
and they were all afraid. Then those who had seen what happened told the others how the
demon-possessed man had been healed.
Don’t assume people can’t change; God’s power can change anyone.
• EXOD US 18:14, 21- 22 | When Moses’ father-in-law saw all that Moses was doing for the
people, he asked, “What are you really accomplishing here? Why are you trying to do all
this alone. . . . But select from all the people some capable, honest men who fear God and
hate bribes. Appoint them as leaders over groups. . . . They will help you carry the load,
making the task easier for you.”
Don’t assume that only you can do a certain job, for others might do better. We all can
benefit from the help and advice of others.
page A188

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